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Stroke Center at Aurora Medical Center in Kenosha receives national recognition

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kenosha, Wis.—The latest estimates show that on average, someone suffers a stroke in the U.S. every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. During a stroke, what happens during that time is critical to the patient’s outcome.

The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations again recognized the stroke program at Aurora Medical Center for earning renewal of its Primary Stroke Center certification.

Designation as a Primary Stroke Center requires that patients receive medical attention within 15 minutes of arrival to the emergency department. Clinical outcomes have shown rapid response is critical and that outcomes deteriorate the longer treatment is delayed.

“Since our initial stroke center designation two years ago, our program has been instrumental in detecting stroke symptoms early and saving lives,’’ said David Farkas, M.D., emergency medicine and medical director of the emergency department at Aurora Medical Center. “Timing is the key to a positive clinical outcome.’’

Each year, about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the third leading cause of death. Stroke is also the leading cause of disability in the United States.

As a designated Primary Stroke Center, Aurora Medical Center developed a comprehensive system for providing rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke using proven science-based guidelines from the American Stroke Association, American Heart Association, and Brain Attack Coalition.

“For patients, this means that the hospital’s stroke team is available 24-hours a day, every day,’’ said Dr. Farkas. “That team includes emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, intensivists and nurses. It truly is an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach that brings together experts from various areas.’’

He added that diagnostic capabilities, such as brain imaging scans and the ability to administer "clot-blocking" drugs within one hour of emergency department admission are also available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Chris Olson, vice president and chief administrative officer, Aurora Medical Center, said the hospital’s physicians, nurses, and staff are committed to providing comprehensive stroke care.

“As clinicians, we are always looking for best practice when it comes to improving patient outcomes and this is one more example of that,’’ she said. “This designation puts the pieces together in a way that combines proactive treatment options, prevention of secondary strokes, and provides us the opportunity to educate patients and families about stroke awareness and its early signs.’’

For more information about stroke prevention, please log onto www.AuroraHealthCare.org.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Andy Johnson
Phone: 262-767-6267

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