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Adventist Hinsdale Hospital certified as primary stroke center
Hinsdale – Adventist Hinsdale Hospital has earned certification as a primary stroke center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, hospital officials announced today. This coveted achievement is based on the hospital’s ability to provide safe, high-quality care, treatment and services to patients experiencing strokes.

“Being certified as a primary stroke center recognizes that Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is the gold standard when it comes to the care of stroke patients,” said David L. Crane, chief executive officer of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. “This distinction is a seal of approval showing that our patients can receive the most advanced care here instead of travelling outside of their community.”

Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

“When a patient has a stroke, every second counts,” said Dr. Christopher Simon, medical director of the Primary Stroke Center at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. “Within minutes there can be irreversible damage. That’s why prompt treatment is so important.”

The Joint Commission’s primary stroke center certification is based on recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements/guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program – the nation’s first – in 2003. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s certification is good for two years.

Adventist Hinsdale Hospital officials developed a comprehensive stroke care program to better serve these patients. Education is a key component of the process, noted Laurie Marin, RN, stroke coordinator.

“All of our employees – regardless of their role in the organization – are taught to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke,” Marin said. “Achieving this certification was a group effort.”

Prompt treatment can include administering a drug called t-PA, or tissue plasminogen activator, which drug breaks up clots blocking blood flow in the brain and allows oxygen and essential nutrients to return to the affected area. To be effective, a t-PA must be administered through an IV within three hours of the stroke’s onset. Intra-arterial t-PA is a method of sending t-PA straight into the clot site through a catheter, which can extend the window of opportunity to as much as six hours from the onset of the stroke.

But stroke treatment doesn’t stop in the emergency room, Simon pointed out. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital has interventional neuroradiology capabilities, which allows us to offer certain stroke patients advanced treatment options not typically available at community hospitals.

“Our interdisciplinary team follows patients through their entire rehabilitation process,” Simon said.

Recognizing the warning signs of a stroke could save your life:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body,
• Sudden trouble seeing or walking,
• Loss of balance or coordination,
• Severe headache with no known cause, and/or
• Sudden confusion or trouble speaking.

Seek immediate medical care after the onset of any of these symptoms. Depending on the magnitude of the stroke and the promptness of treatment, effects can range from minor weakness of a limb to paralysis on one side of the body or death. If you or someone you know experiences one or more of the symptoms described above, call 911 immediately.