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Target: Stroke Honor Roll Site

Marketing & Public Relations Contact:
Stephanie Petta
(941) 798-6056

February 14, 2011

Blake Named a Target: Stroke Honor Roll Site

 Bradenton, Florida—(February 3, 2011) ----- Blake Medical Center was among only 71 hospitals nationally, and three in the State of Florida to be awarded an ‘Honor Roll Site’ status for the American Stroke Association’s Target: Stroke program. The program seeks to help hospitals reduce the time it takes for a clot-busting drug, rt-PA, to be administered.

According to the American Stroke Association website, “one minute of brain ischemia can kill 2 million nerve cells and 14 billion synapses. That means the more time that elapses before intravenous thrombolysis, the slimmer the odds of a good outcome. The upside is a great opportunity to improve outcomes simply by providing the right treatment, right away. Target: Stroke was created to help [hospitals] seize that opportunity by achieving door-to-needle (DTN) times of 60 minutes or less.”

Blake currently has the Gold Plus Performance Achievement as part of the Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke program and also boasts a Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center designation.

“We are excited to receive this additional designation, but we’re not done yet,” explains Rose May, RN, MSN, chief nursing officer at Blake Medical Center, “We’ve got a great Neuroscience team here that is continually working to improve our processes and further speed treatment to Stroke patients.” 

What is Target: Stroke? Target: Stroke is a national quality improvement campaign created by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to improve outcomes for ischemic stroke patients by helping hospitals achieve door-to-needle (DTN) times of 60 minutes or less.

Despite evidence that shorter DTN times can improve functional outcomes, treatment is often delayed due to lags in assessment and/or rt-PA administration. Through Target: Stroke, hospital teamscan work towards eliminating delays and reducing long-term disability in stroke patients.

Target: Stroke advocates the adoption of 10 best practice strategies for reducing DTN times for IV rt-PA in acute ischemic stroke. Blake has had many of these best practices in place for many years. The recommend practices are: Advance Hospital Notification by EMS, Rapid Triage Protocol and Stroke Team Notification, Single Call Activation System, Use of a Stroke Toolkit, Rapid Acquisition and Interpretation of Brain Imaging, Rapid Laboratory Testing (including point-of-care testing if indicated), Mix rt-PA Medication Ahead of Time, Rapid Access to Intravenous rt-PA, Team-Based Approach, and Prompt Data Feedback.

Another important factor in improving stroke care for our community is public awareness and responsiveness at the first signs of stroke. That’s why it’s imperative that people know their risk and call 9-1-1 at the first sign of a stroke. The warning signs are: 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.

Blake Medical Center is offering a free Heart & Stroke screening on Saturday, February 26th. Tests will include: total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, fasting glucose (an indication of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for stroke), blood pressure and more. To RSVP for this free screening, call 1-888-359-3552. Fasting is required.

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