World Stroke Day

Tomorrow is World Stroke Day, a campaign established by the World Stroke Organization in 2006 to raise awareness about the second leading cause of death in the world. In honor of this day here are two easy ways to learn about stroke and how to prevent this devastating disease.

1) Watch the National Stroke Association’s video series Stroke: The REALITY to learn about stroke’s devastating impact and how to reduce your risk.

2) Learn FAST to quickly recognize signs and symptoms of stroke:
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Improving Stroke Care

FAST2According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Given these alarming statistics, Duke Regional takes stroke care very seriously. We have worked to improve care for our stroke patients and have been awarded several times by many organizations as a result. Most recently we received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

We earned this award by meeting specific quality achievement measures, including aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

In addition, we received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.

We also take the time to educate stroke patients to manage their risk factors, be aware of warning signs for stroke and ensure they take their medications properly. Additionally, we offer a monthly stroke support group for stroke patients and the community. To register for an upcoming session, click here.

To learn more about stroke, visit strokeassociation.org

Stroke: What you need to know

Do you know how to identify a stroke F.A.S.T.?

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As a Primary Stroke Center, our team provides effective, timely care and can significantly improve clinical outcomes for stroke patients. Duke Regional has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval in recognition of our commitment to quality care for stroke patients.

When a stroke patient arrives in our Emergency Department, we issue an alert called a Code Stroke. This alert notifies a neurologist, the Lab and Radiology departments, nurses and other providers that a potential stroke patient is in the hospital. This process helps ensure fast, efficient care. Duke Regional also has a dedicated stroke unit staffed by nurses specially trained in caring for stroke patients.

To learn more visit, dukeregional.org/stroke.

Stroke and Joint Replacement Programs Recognized

Duke Regional Hospital has been recognized as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission in conjunction with The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Certification as a Primary Stroke Center demonstrates the hospital’s program meets important performance standards known to improve outcomes for stroke patients.

In addition, Duke Regional’s Forward Motion Joint Replacement Program earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ by complying with The Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety.

Both programs were first honored with these distinctions in 2012. Certification lasts two years.

Duke Regional underwent a rigorous on-site review of both programs in January. A Joint Commission expert reviewed the stroke program’s compliance with the requirements for The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification program as well as primary stroke center requirements, such as collecting and using specific data to continually enhance care. An orthopedic Joint Commission surveyor evaluated the hospital for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of joint replacement patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

“Participation in these reviews is voluntary. We take part to improve and validate the processes we follow to provide excellent care to our patients and their loved ones every day,” says Barbara Griffith, MD, chief medical officer. “Primary Stroke Center Certification and Joint Commission Certification of our Forward Motion Joint Replacement Program highlights our commitment to high quality care, and helps us improve care overall for our community.”

DRH Receives Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award

GWTG_Stroke_Gold_2013Duke Regional Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes Duke Regional’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.

This marks the second year Duke Regional has been recognized with a quality achievement award for stroke care by the American Heart Association. The hospital received a silver award in 2012. Duke Regional’s stroke program is also Joint Commission certified.

Following Get With The Guidelines-Stroke treatment guidelines helps Duke Regional’s staff improve patient care and outcomes. Guidelines include starting patients on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing the risk of death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. To achieve Gold status, Duke Regional had to follow these measures consistently for 24 consecutive months.

“Our stroke team and our hospital have worked so hard to provide consistent, evidence based care to our stroke patients,” said Candace Gentry, quality outcomes manager for stroke at Duke Regional.  “This award should give our patients and community confidence that Duke Regional Hospital is here to serve them and provide great care. I am so proud to work with such a great team.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Durham Regional offers support for stroke survivors and caregivers

Several years ago, Dashia Thorpe suffered a stroke while at home in New York. Dashia went to the hospital and learned the stroke had caused left-side weakness. This limited her to walking with a cane or using a motorized chair to get around, and made her second floor apartment a challenge.

Dashia eventually relocated to Durham, North Carolina, where she found a home that could accommodate her needs as well as a new physician, a new school for her son and a new support group. She attended her first stroke support group at Durham Regional in October 2010.

adult helping senior in hospital“The stroke support group at Durham Regional is an outlet for me,” Dashia explains. “It is nice to be able to share my story and hear from others. It is also a good place to get information about new products and services available for people with needs like mine.”

Today, Dashia continues to attend the group to offer support to her fellow survivors.

Read more of Dashia’s story at durhamregional.org/stroke.

The stroke support group at Durham Regional Hospital offers education, support and resources for individuals who have been affected by stroke. Survivors, family members, caregivers and anyone else interested are welcome. This support group meets the second Monday of each month from 1-2:30 pm. To register, visit durhamregional.org/events.