Jersey Community Hospital has been recognized as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This means stroke patients can receive high quality treatment right here in their own community. To be eligible for this designation, Jersey Community Hospital developed emergency stroke care policies and procedures to align with evidence based standards, such as those from the American Heart Association.
In 2009, the Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 2244, allowing the creation of stroke systems of care in Illinois. The law identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care and directs Emergency Medical Services personnel to transport possible acute stroke patients to these facilities. The Illinois Hospital Association worked with the American Heart Association and the IDPH to create the regulations and enact the landmark legislation.
“Stroke patients have a narrow window for treatment. Time equals brain. Being a Stroke Ready Hospital means our emergency department has the expertise to diagnose and treat stroke patients with advanced therapies to minimize the damage that can occur from a stroke. If a patient requires a higher level of neurological expertise, we have partnerships with hospitals in St. Louis and Springfield in order to rapidly transfer the patient so they can have the best possible outcome.” said Dr. Michael McNear, Chief Medical Officer and Director of the stroke program.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention. It is the leading source for long-term disability in the nation.
Stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. The acronym F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke and what to do if you think one has occurred. The most important action is to call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance immediately.
F.A.S.T. stands for:
· Face- Ask the person to smile. Check to see if one side droops.
· Arms- Ask the person to raise both arms. See if one arm drifts downward.
· Speech- Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Check to see if the words are slurred and if the sentence is repeated correctly.
· Time- If a person shows any of these symptoms, time is essential. It is important to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. Call 9-1-1 and act F.A.S.T.
For more information on Jersey Community Hospital go to www.jch.org.