Essentia Health Designated As Primary Stroke Center
Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd has been designated as Primary Stroke Center by the Minnesota Department of Heath, according to a press release. In order to receive the three-year primary stroke certification, the hospital was assessed for its ability to evaluate, stabilize and provide emergency treatment to patients who have serious stroke symptoms.
The criteria to earn the three-year primary stroke certification includes having a medical director and stroke care team, training nursing and pharmacy staff to administer clot-dissolving drugs, establishing emergency department protocols and providing brain-imaging capabilities. Going beyond excellent immediate care, a primary stoke center provides the full spectrum of stroke care–diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education–and establishes clear metrics to evaluate outcomes.
“The surveyor was impressed with the teamwork and the excellent care delivered by all who touch the stroke patients,” says Mike Larson, who leads operations at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, in a statement. “The survey is a reflection of the work and care this team provides every day.”
The Stroke Alert team at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, including Stroke Program Coordinator Nicole Anderson and Stroke Medical Director Dr. Rebecca Holcomb, brings specially trained stroke neurologists to the patient’s bedside via high-tech video from Allina. The Stroke Team thoroughly evaluates the patient to confirm that a stroke is occurring.
The Emergency Physician and Stroke Neurologist develop a treatment plan and provide direction to the team to begin treatment with a powerful clot-busting drug called alteplase. Prompt action by the team results in patients typically being treated with the drug within 36 minutes of arriving at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The national benchmark is 60 minutes.
According to the health care provider, nearly one-third of all people in Minnesota who suffer a stroke seek initial care at a rural hospital like Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center.
When it comes to stroke, time lost is brain lost. A stroke can be life threatening and requires immediate medical attention. You can recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke by using the acronym FAST.
F – facial droop/numbness
A – arm weakness
S – speech difficulty
T – time to call 9-1-1.