Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital Gets Advanced Certification for Primary Plus Stroke Center

Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital has earned national recognition for meeting the guidelines for treatment of serious stroke events.

The Primary Plus Stroke Center Certification, granted by the accrediting agency DNV, recognizes hospitals that have met the specific metrics affirming the hospital’s readiness to handle a full range of stroke-related medical problems from diagnosis to treatment, rehabilitation and education.

“We are incredibly proud of our team for their dedication to ensure our community has access to advanced stroke care. This certification shows that St. Mary’s has the necessary resources to take care of complex stroke patients,” said Monica Vargas-Mahar, Market CEO for Carondelet Health Network. “Achieving this level of recognition validates all the effort our team has put into the program and giving stroke patients the greatest chance at recovery.”

Primary Stroke Plus Certification means that Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital goes beyond the requirements of a primary stroke center, with the addition of training, equipment, experience, and personnel for performing thrombectomies and post-care for the treatment of acute ischemic strokes. The types of patients who might use and benefit from a Primary Plus Stroke Center include, but are not limited to, patients with ischemic strokes, large vessel occlusions, hemorrhagic strokes, or strokes from unusual causes that may require specialized testing or interventional therapies.

“When a stroke occurs, where you go and how fast you get there is critical to survival and recovery,” said Dr. Francisco Valdivia, medical director for the St. Mary’s Primary Stroke Plus Center. “It is so important for our community to know and recognize the signs of a stroke and seek medical attention immediately.”

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is a leading cause of death, killing nearly 130,000 people each year, and is a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. Because stroke or “brain attack” effects blood flow to the brain, rapid and effective treatment can save lives and provide the best chance of limiting the extent of long-term damage.

Learn the FAST warning signs of stroke  

An easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke and how to respond is with the acronym FAST:  

F  = Face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop? 
A = Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? 
S = Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? 
T = Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.  

Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital also offers an extensive Inpatient Rehabilitation program to provide and care for stroke patients through the entire treatment plan.  From the time a stroke patient arrives in the emergency room, a dedicated team is ready to begin life-saving care.  The Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit provides stroke patients with advanced rehabilitative care and expertise to promote recovery and increase functionality.

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