Stroke Care and You

Stroke Care and YouDid you know stroke accounts for about 1 out of every 19 deaths, ranking No. 5 among all causes of death in the United States? According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, on average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Physicians Regional Pine Ridge is a designated Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA). This designation is based on standards set by the AHCA that distinguishes hospitals with infrastructure, staff, and training to receive and treat patients with all types of strokes.

Most recently, Physicians Regional Pine Ridge has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to guaranteeing stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

In addition to the aforementioned award, Physicians Regional Pine Ridge’s Comprehensive Stroke Center also received the Association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll awards. To qualify for these recognitions, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. The hospital must also meet quality measures developed with more than 90 % of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.” The latter makes Physicians Regional Pine Ridge the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in the county with this designation.

Physicians Regional’s Neurointerventional services consist of minimally invasive, image guided techniques to treat complex vascular disorders of the brain, neck and spine. One of the primary objectives is optimal stroke care, which is achieved by understanding each stroke patient has unique and specific needs. In addition, PRHS offers education to their community, staff and emergency medical service personnel (EMS). To this end, they have partnered with EMS to develop a unique pre-hospital large vessel occlusion acute ischemic stroke screening tool termed “MANGO” that allows EMS to identify potential patients within 30 seconds or less.

(M) Motor Weakness
(A) Aphasia – Does the patient have the ability to understand or express speech? Can they name two objects (Expressive)? Can they follow two commands (Receptive)?
(N) Neglect – Is the patient unable to feel both sides at the same time, or unable to identify their own arm, or ignoring on one side?
(G) Gaze Preference – Does the patient have the inability to track an object or are they experiencing double vision?
(O) Optic Field – Is the patient’s optic field cut or are they experiencing any new blindness?

Nasser Razack, M.D., Neurointerventional Radiologist says, “Since time optimization is critical for the effective treatment of ischemic stroke, this also allows EMS personnel to bring severe stroke patients to the correct facility the first time, reducing treatment time, transfer rates and increasing diagnostic and treatment efficiency. Physicians Regional Healthcare System is pleased to have one of the most experienced Neurointerventional teams in the region.”

Dr. Mazen AbuAwad, Neurointerventional Radiologist and Medical Director of Stroke for Physicians Regional Healthcare System, and Dr. Nasser Razack have more than 40 years of combined experience in treating neurovascular disease. By integrating with neurosurgery, neurology and critical care specialists, they offer a unique multidisciplinary approach that makes Physicians Regional Healthcare System a community leader in the field of neurointerventional services.

For more information on Physicians Regional Healthcare System’s Stroke Care please visit or call (239) 348-4581.

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