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Hospital of Central Connecticut Receives Primary Stroke Center Designation

New Britain [July 01 2008] - The Connecticut Department of Public Health has designated The Hospital of Central Connecticut a Primary Stroke Center, making quality stroke care easily accessible to Central Connecticut residents when minutes count.

The goal of the designation is to decrease premature deaths and disabilities associated with stroke and help to ensure rapid evaluation and treatment of stroke patients.

In earning this designation, The Hospital of Central Connecticut demonstrated that it meets standards and criteria from organizations including the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel becomes blocked by a clot or bursts, interrupting blood flow to the brain. Deprived of oxygen and nutrients, the brain begins to die, resulting in disability or death.

“With stroke, it’s imperative to begin treatment as soon as possible to limit brain damage,” said Kristen Hickey, HCC’s Stroke Program coordinator. “This Primary Stroke Center designation means Central Connecticut residents have access to immediate, expert care, close to home.”

The American Stroke Association estimates that about 780,000 Americans annually suffer a new or recurrent stroke. Stroke kills more than 150,000 people a year, making it the No. 3 cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer.

The Hospital of Central Connecticut provides a variety of emergency stroke treatments at both its New Britain General and Bradley Memorial campuses, including minimally invasive procedures to eliminate clots and clot-busting medications. Medications include tPA, a drug shown to significantly reduce long-term disability if given within three hours of the stroke.

HCC’s 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 patients who have a TIA will have a stroke within a month.

The center also provides education for hospital inpatients and the community on preventing strokes by identifying risk factors, including smoking and conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart and artery disease, as well as age (people over 55 are at higher risk), family history of stroke, gender (strokes are more common among men) and prior stroke, heart attack or TIA.

The hospital’s Stroke Center also 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.

In addition, the Stroke Center coordinates rehabilitation services for stroke patients; and works with community agencies and facilities to ensure continuity of care for stroke patients.
For information on stroke prevention and treatment, call the hospital’s stroke coordinator, (860) 224-5900, X6764.

Contact: Nancy Martin, 860-224-5900, ext. 4366

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779