Riverside Regional Medical Center Brings First Ever Certified Primary Stroke Program to the Peninsula

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long term disability.  Quick diagnosis and treatment of stroke can dramatically affect treatment options as well as the medical outcome and long term effects of a stroke on patients.  

Riverside Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce that in mid-December, 2009, our Stroke Program was awarded Primary Stroke Center Certification and a Gold Seal of Approval(TM) for healthcare quality by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).  By achieving this designation, we are able to bring unparalled care to our community, establishing the first ever Primary Stroke Center on the Peninsula.

Stroke Certification Gold SealThis certificate of distinction is awarded only to those programs that comply with the highest national standards for safety and quality of stroke diagnosis, treatment and care and demonstrate a commitment to excellence in providing primary stroke center services.  The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations published by the Brain Attack Coalition, and the American Stroke Association's guidelines for stroke care. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care

Gold Seal Certification
The Gold Seal certification received by Riverside Regional Medical Center signifies that Riverside Emergency and Trauma Center and other vital inpatient and outpatient services related to stroke,  incorporate the critical diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care elements required to achieve long-term success in improving medical outcomes for stroke patients. 

Riverside Primary Stroke Center: What it Means for Our Patients

A Stroke Center is a hospital that has an established stroke program including specific procedures and highly trained staff who are able to recognize and treat stroke symptoms quickly using some of the latest treatment options available.  Riverside Emergency and Trauma Center and other medical staff, have undergone extensive stroke training, preparation and evaluation by the national Joint Commission. 

Stroke Treatment
Because a stroke deprives the brain of essential nutrients and oxygen needed to keep brain cells alive, emergency physicians at the Riverside Emergency and Trauma Center and Riverside neurological specialists who are available 24x7, use sophisticated techniques to diagnose and quickly treat stroke symptoms, including improving blood flow to the brain as they treat the stroke in order to minimize loss of as many brain cells as possible. The faster a stroke is diagnosed and treated, the more treatment options are available and potentially, the better the medical outcome that can be achieved.  Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown that patients treated at hospitals with Stroke Centers have reduced mortality rates, fewer complications and improved long-term outcomes.

Standards of Diagnosis and Care
A certified Primary Stroke Center like the one at Riverside Regional Medical Center must meet national standards that are designed to render faster diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.   

Here are just a few of the national standards in place at Riverside Regional Medical Center:

  • Diagnostic equipment such as a CT scan or MRI is available 24 hours a day. Riverside has the only 128 slice CT scanner on the Peninsula and with twice the imaging power and half the radiation of traditional scanners, our physician team is better able to diagnose and pinpoint vascular conditions such as stroke. 
  • Near immediate reading and interpretation of CT and MRI results
  • Riverside is the only local hospital where local neurosurgeons and neurologists are on staff and provide 24 hour a day support and physician coverage to the hospital and Emergency and Trauma Center.
  • An acute stroke team of at least two health care professionals is available 24 hours a day.

All Riverside Emergency and Trauma staff receive ongoing training in the quick recognition and diagnosis of possible stroke patients.

Stroke Facts

  • Stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death
  • On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes.
  • Stroke is also a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.
  • Learn how to recognize the symptoms of stroke (video).

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