- The Primary Stroke Center at GBMC was ranked first in Maryland in 2010 for stroke care based on stroke patient survival rate data provided by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) Services.
- The Center has the highest stroke survival rates for inpatient stay, 1 month post-discharge and 6 months post-discharge.
- The Center earned the Gold Plus Achievement Award by the American Heart / American Stroke Association for having 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or greater adherence to stroke performance indicators. The honor represents sustained high quality by nursing and physician teams.
- In September 2012, the Stroke Center received re-certification from The Joint Commission (TJC). The re-certification was achieved following a thorough review of GBMC's processes involving the continuum of care provided to a stroke patient, from the Emergency Department to the inpatient units.
- The Primary Stroke Center is dedicated to providing care to patients who have had a Cerebrovascular Accident (stroke) or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA).
The Stroke Team oversees care of stroke patients from the time of their arrival at the Emergency Department (ED) until discharge. ED staff provides initial patient assessment, coordinates rapid diagnostic imaging and laboratory tests and initiates treatment.
Once the patient is admitted, care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team including Neurologists, neurosciences nurses and specialists from disciplines such as Physical and Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, Dietary and Care Management.
Stroke Team clinicians also act as a resource for staff and families caring for stroke patients, as well as raising awareness within the community.
Stroke Services In the News...
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. A stroke can occur if either a blood vessel leading to the brain is blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). This keeps essential oxygen and nutrients from reaching the affected part of the brain, so it begins to die.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), factors such as medical conditions, behaviors and heredity can play a role in stroke risk.
The following medical conditions can increase risk:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Overweight and obesity
- Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- Sickle cell disease
The following behaviors can increase risk:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Physical inactivity
The following hereditary traits can increase risk:
- Family history
- Age and gender - older people are at higher risk, as are men
- Race and ethnicity - Blacks, Hispanics, American Indian/Alaska Natives are at higher risk than non-Hispanic whites or Asians
For ischemic patients who make it to the hospital within three hours of symptom onset, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), an FDA-approved clot-busting drug, is a treatment option. tPA is given intravenously and can greatly reduce the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.
Recent studies suggest that biological factors, like early menopause, can also increase risk and that women ages 45-54 are more likely to have a stroke than men. Additionally, women are more prone to experience nontraditional stroke symptoms such as confusion, chest pain, headache and nausea. Having regular medical checkups, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking remain key to minimizing stroke risk.
In addition, medications such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can increase a woman's risk of stroke.
The risk of stroke for African Americans is higher than other ethnicities, including white Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans.
Though rare, children sometimes suffer strokes. Birth defects, infections such as meningitis or encephalitis, trauma and blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, are often the cause of stroke in children. Because of the flexibility of children's brains and nervous systems, they tend to heal better after a stroke than an adult. Similar to adults, children experiencing stroke may suffer from severe headaches, speech difficulty numbness and problems with eye movements.
A transient ischemic attack or TIA is often referred to as a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke." The term "mini-stroke " is misleading and diminishes the importance of a TIA. While a TIA does not result in permanent damage, it is a warning sign of possible impending stroke. A person experiencing a TIA should seek medical attention. Immediate treatment can significantly reduce risk of stroke in the future.