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Memorial Hospital recertified as acute stroke ready

  • The stroke team at Memorial Hospital is ready when the next patient arrives.

    The stroke team at Memorial Hospital is ready when the next patient arrives.
    Courtesy of Memorial Hospital/Chester

Submitted by Memorial Hospital of Chester
updated: 8/28/2020 5:56 PM

Memorial Hospital has been re-certified as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In 2009 Illinois developed legislation that allowed large hospitals to earn the distinction of being a Primary Stroke Center. In 2014, Illinois went further, and recognized that rural and critical access hospitals could work with the Primary Stroke Centers to provide evidence based protocols for stroke patients, including administering "clot busting" medications and transport to a Primary Stroke Center.

Memorial Hospital is proud to be able to provide this lifesaving opportunity to the community.

Every year more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke, according to the CDC, and American stroke related deaths per year tally 140,000.

Health care providers, physicians and staff at Memorial Hospital understand that opportunity for the best outcome requires education on stroke symptoms and actions to be taken to ensure quick and efficient care. Symptoms of a stroke include:

• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg

• Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others

• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

The American Stroke Association provides the simple acronym FAST, to remind the general public of the signs/symptoms of a Stroke:

F for face: Ask the person to smile, Does one side droop?

A for arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S for speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

T for time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.

The "clot busters" Memorial Hospital administers for a stroke must be started within three hours of the "last known well." By activating EMS or calling 911, patients and their families are starting a chain reaction.

Using an ambulance allows for the hospital staff to alert the Stroke Team and prepare for the patient's treatment. The goal for treatment is to start the "clot busting" medication in the first 60 minutes of arrival.