Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States today, affecting nearly 800,000 people each year. Approximately every 40 seconds someone in this country has a stroke.
Primary Stroke Center
West Florida Healthcare, our area's leader in stroke care, is certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. This means that in addition to our dedicated physicians and specialized staff, we also offer leading-edge treatments and technologies, including interventional radiology procedures and life-saving clot-busting medications, as well as quick access to labs, medications, and CT and MRI scans.
West Florida Hospital recently earned the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-StrokeSM Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award. The awards are given for excellence in coronary artery disease, stroke and/or heart failure treatment, and recognize West Florida Hospital’s achievement in using evidence-based guidelines to provide the best possible care to patients through The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s GWTG-Stroke Program.
In addition to the Get With The Guideline-Stroke award West Florida Healthcare has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for improving stroke care for the second year in a row, a first for our community. Over the past year, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time). A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.
West Florida Hospital has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
Statistics show that a rehabilitation program initiated early after a stroke can help enhance a patient's quality of life. Learn more about West Florida Rehabilitation Institute's comprehensive Stroke Program.
The Stroke Support Group meets monthly to help stroke patients and their families learn how to cope with the effects of stroke. For more information or a schedule of meetings, call Linda Baily at 494-6147.
Warning Signs of Stroke
- 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 with no known cause
If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don't delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical services (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can be sent for you. Also, check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared. It's very important to take immediate action.
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