Cuyuna Regional Medical Center's designation as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital was recently renewed by the Minnesota Department of Health for three years recognizing the organization's preparedness to evaluate, stabilize and provide emergency treatment to patients with acute stroke symptoms.
The designation means CRMC uses best practices to stabilize stroke patients and administer life-saving medications. CRMC physicians treat more than 1,000 patients each year for stroke-related issues as well as about 65 acute emergency room related services. A stroke care team trained and prepared to treat acute stroke symptoms is always available. The team consists of Emergency Department physicians and nurses as well as staff from the laboratory, radiology and pharmacy who collaborate with paramedics and other emergency services staff to provide the best care possible to these patients.
MDH recognized CRMC for key components in providing safe and expedited care to stroke patients. They are the Emergency Department stroke processes, especially systems that have been established around activating a code neuro and the actions of stroke team members with specific timing expectations; a commitment to education through various modalities, including an annual mock code neuro simulation; review of stroke protocol for physicians and nursing staff; and the inter-facility ground transport protocol tool to support the transition of care from CRMC to a tertiary stroke center.
“Rapid recognition and prompt, appropriate interventions are critical to having the best possible outcome for a stroke patient,” said CRMC’s Critical Care Nursing Director Stephanie Nelson, R.N. She added that this accreditation reflects CRMC’s commitment of providing high-quality care to the area’s residents.
Nearly one in three Minnesota stroke victims first receives care at a small, rural hospital. In addition, more than one-third of Minnesotans live more than 60 minutes away from a Primary Stroke Center. These facts highlight the importance of local hospitals becoming designated as stroke-ready facilities.
In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature authorized the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to designate hospitals in Minnesota as “stroke hospitals.” The designations from lowest to highest level of stroke care are Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals, Primary Stroke Centers, and Comprehensive Stroke Centers.
It is important for Minnesotans to know how to spot a stroke quickly and call 9-1-1. You can recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke by remembering BEFAST: Balance- sudden dizziness or loss of balance, Eyes- sudden trouble seeing out of one or both eyes, Face- facial weakness, uneven smile, Arm- weakness, unable to raise arms evenly, Speech- slurred or impaired speech, difficulty repeating simple phrases, and Time- call 911 immediately.