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Hospital of Central Connecticut's Stroke Center recognized

[May 04 2012] - The Hospital of Central Connecticut's (HOCC's) Stroke Center recently received national recognition for providing excellent, timely care that can help reduce damage caused by stroke.

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognized HOCC's Stroke Center through Target: Stroke, a national quality campaign that helps hospitals provider faster care to stroke patients. The Target: Stroke goal is to provide t-PA- clot-dissolving medication - within 60 minutes of a stroke patient's hospital arrival.

"By administering t-PA within 60 minutes, we're reducing the amount of time a clot can block blood flow to the brain, and we're helping to preserve brain cells," said Kristen Hickey, R.N., M.S.N., HOCC Stroke Center coordinator.

HOCC also received a Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award through participation in Get With The Guidelines ®, an American Heart Association/American Stroke Association quality program for hospitals. The award signifies that HOCC demonstrated 12 consecutive months of excellence in following patient-care treatment guidelines for its stroke patients.

In 2007, the hospital joined Get With The Guidelines, which offers a web-based system to regularly measure and evaluate its stroke patients' treatment. HOCC neurologist and Stroke Center medical director Timothy Parsons, M.D., notes that in addition to helping the hospital focus on tasks that provide optimal stroke recovery and prevention, Get With The Guidelines compares HOCC's performance to that of other participating hospitals.

In addition to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognitions, HOCC's Stroke Center has advanced certification as a Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission and has been designated a Primary Stroke Center by the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The Stroke Center treats patients who have had strokes and TIAs (transient ischemic attacks). TIAs produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage; about 20 percent of TIA patients will have a stroke within a month.

In addition, the Stroke Center educates the community and hospital inpatients on identifying stroke symptoms, which include 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; sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache with no known cause. The Stroke Center also coordinates rehabilitation services for stroke patients; and works with community agencies and facilities to ensure continuity of care.

For information on stroke prevention and treatment, call HOCC's stroke coordinator, (860) 224-5900, X6764.