Monday, March 18, 2013
Conprehensive Stroke Care at Fort Sanders Regional
Treating complex strokes is a specialty of Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center that saves lives and families. While good patient outcomes are the best reward, the hospital’s stroke care has been affirmed at the highest level. On February 11, Fort Sanders became certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, in conjunction with the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association. Fort Sanders received the highest designation a hospital can receive for stroke care. “It is very humbling to receive this recognition and I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” said Keith Altshuler, president and chief administrative officer of the hospital.
“What the hospital has done is a phenomenal feat,” adds Paul Peterson, MD, Fort Sanders’ neurosurgeon. “We’re talking about having a truly comprehensive stroke program – from the emergency room staff and diagnosis, to surgical treatments and rehabilitation.”
Fast Diagnosis & Treatment
Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is a member of Covenant Health’s stroke network. Covenant Health has personnel specially trained in stroke emergency care at all of its acute care hospitals. Fort Sanders emergency room physicians and staff are in communication with EMS personnel in the ambulances. “Physicians are educated to assess these patients quickly,” said Elizabeth Hull, M.D., emergency department medical director. “A team of physicians specialists work together to diagnose each patient and start treatment as soon as possible.”
“If a clot is too large or too much time has passed before the patient arrived in the emergency room, we can remove clots mechanically,” said Fort Sanders’ neurointerventional radiologist Keith Woodward. These delicate procedures must be done quickly as well, which means neurointerventionalists are available around the clock.
Depending on the severity of a stroke, recovery can be long and arduous. Fort Sanders offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation options, including physical, occupational and speech therapy through the world-renowned Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center (PNRC), located within the hospital.
About one-third of the Center’s patients are stroke patients, according to PNRC medical director, Mary E. Dillon, M.D. “We’re equipped to handle all stroke cases, from the most complex to the least,” said Dillon. “They don’t have to go anywhere else to find help.”
For more information on the stroke services available at Fort Sanders and Covenant Health, please call 541-4500 or visit www.covenanthealth.com/strokenetwork.