When it comes to cardiovascular disease, you want a healthcare organization that has a history of success in diagnosing and treating patients with the appropriate protocols at the right time. Ashtabula County Medical Center has once again received national recognition for stroke care and for stroke care to patients with diabetes from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The hospital was recently received the Gold Plus with Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll quality achievement award.
This is the third year ACMC has received the Gold Plus honor, after receiving Bronze and Silver honors in previous years.
Strokes are the no. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability for adults in the United States. Annually, there are nearly 800,000 people who suffer from a new or subsequent stroke – an average of a stroke every 40 seconds. Getting treatment quickly is the key to improving survival, speeding recovery times, and minimizing long-term disability.
If you suspect a loved one is having a stroke, remember the acronym BE FAST.
Balance – People may experience muscle weakness or loss of muscle control in the legs. This affects that balance or ability to sit or stand.
Eyes – Sudden blurred or double vision can occur or a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes.
Face drooping – One side of the face droops or becomes numb. Ask the person to smile and watch both sides of the face for an unequal response.
Arm weakness – Similar to balance issues, a person may experience weakness or numbness in the arms. Ask the person to raise both arms and see if one is sagging like the person is holding a heavy weight.
Speech difficulty – A common symptom of a stroke is slurred speech. Ask the person to say a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.”
Time to call 911 – If a person shows any of these symptoms, even if they appear to go away, call 911 and tell EMS to get your loved one to ACMC’s Primary Stroke Center.
ACMC follows the seven guidelines for stroke diagnosis and treatment set forth by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, which includes use of diagnostic tests as soon as a patient arrives at the hospital, followed by appropriate medicine administered within the first hour at the hospital.
"ACMC is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to our stroke patients," said ACMC Healthcare System President and CEO Michael Habowski. "The tools and resources provided in the American Heart Association's Get with the Guidelines Stroke initiative help us track and measure our success in meeting evidence-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes."
This is the first year ACMC has been honored with the Type 2 Diabetes achievement, a new classification by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association designed to reduce death from heart attacks or strokes in people with type 2 diabetes.
To receive the designation, hospitals must demonstrate compliance for the previous year with type 2 diabetes diagnosis and treatment guidelines, including evidence-based used of medication for patients with diabetes, assessment of left ventricle function, treatment of diabetes while an inpatient or follow-up appointments for outpatient care, and ongoing education including smoking cessation advice or counseling.