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Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano

 
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Quality Stroke Care 

Baylor Plano Earns Primary Stroke Center Certification

 

A stroke has a three-hour treatment window. That’s why having access to quality care nearby is critical to improving patient outcomes. Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano recently earned Primary Stroke Center certification from the Joint Commission. “It shows that we follow the highest national standards for patient care,” says Emily Gebron, stroke coordinator at Baylor Plano. Avesh Verma, MD, medical director of the Stroke Program at Baylor Plano and physician on the medical staff, adds that as a Primary Stroke Center, the hospital also must have neurologists on call 24/7.

The stroke center designation is important because it helps stroke patients in our community get the treatment they need faster. “If a hospital is not designated as a stroke center, EMS is told to bypass it,” Gebron says. “Increased travel time increases the time it takes for a patient to get treatment.” To receive its certification, Baylor Plano demonstrated certain core measures, such as how quickly medications are given, the efficiency of various tests and procedures, and when patient education is completed. “If education is done within the first couple of days, patients are more adept to learn,” Gebron says. “And it can reduce their chances of a second stroke.”

The hospital also implemented several processes, including performing high-quality brain tests as soon as patients arrive at the facility. “There’s only one FDA-approved drug for ischemic stroke, and patients have to receive it within three hours of symptom onset,” Gebron says. “So, by providing our patients a rapid assessment, we are able to provide better outcomes.”

Know the Signs - Recognize the symptoms to save a life

In ischemic stroke, which results from an obstruction of blood flow to the brain, a person begins losing brain cells immediately. This type of stroke can be treated using a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which can reverse the symptoms and reduce long-term disability, but it must be given within a three-hour window to be effective. “Time is of the essence,” says Dr. Verma. “A lot of time patients present too close to the end of the three-hour window. We have to do certain tests before tPA can be administered.” That’s why it’s essential to recognize the signs:

  • Changes in speech
  • Changes in vision
  • Numbness or weakness, especially on one side
  • Trouble walking
  • Dizziness

If you notice these symptoms in a loved one, call 911 immediately.

Think F A S T

Need an easy way to remember the signs of stroke? Think FAST.

FACE

  • Numbness in the face
  • Changes in vision
  • Uneven smile

ARM & LEG

  • Weakness or numbness
  • Trouble walking

SPEECH

  • Slurred speech
  • Inappropriate words
  • Mute

TIME

  • Time is of the essence
  • CALL 911

For a referral to a neurologist on the Baylor Plano medical staff, search online.