Stroke Expertise Saves Lives

DNV Certified Primary Stroke Center - DNV GL HealthcareOnancock, Va. – Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital was recently re-certified as a Primary Stroke Center by DNV GL in partnership with The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.

Primary Stroke Center (PSC) re-certification means that a hospital is equipped to provide diagnostic services, emergent care and therapies to most patients with acute stroke symptoms and admit the patient to a dedicated stroke unit or designated stroke beds.

DNV-GL evaluates a hospital’s stroke care by reviewing patient outcomes, care processes, care settings, and clinical records. This certificate of distinction is awarded only to those programs that comply with the highest standards for safety and quality of stroke diagnosis, treatment and care. Certification is a voluntary process and is renewable every three years.

A stroke can be caused by a clot or a ruptured blood vessel, and it deprives the brain of essential nutrients and oxygen needed to keep brain cells alive. Rapid diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize the loss of brain cells and improve the long term outcomes of a stroke. A PSC hospital has the infrastructure and capability to care for acute stroke, including administration of intravenous thrombolytic therapy (also known as tissue plasminogen activator or “tPA”).

The Emergency Department team of doctors, nurses and technicians at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital as well as local EMTs have undergone extensive stroke training, preparation and evaluation by DNV GL, and their expertise was apparent when DNV-GL inspected the program and approved re-certification.

The stroke team’s dedication to stroke patients is evident 24 hours a day. On the leading edge of telemedicine, Riverside neurologists are able to begin assessing a stroke patient from his secure office computer or from a secure computer in his home in the middle of the night. This way, treatment protocols can be set in motion even before the neurologist arrives at the Emergency Department. The sooner intervention is begun and blood is restored to the damaged parts of the brain, the better the chances for a full recovery.

Stroke patients on the Shore have the added benefit of being backed by Riverside Regional Medical Center (RRMC), the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in southeastern Virginia. RRMC can provide a higher level of care and/or endovascular procedures and neurosurgical interventions after initial treatment and stabilization. RRMC has the RAPID neuroimaging platform, which creates high-quality images from a variety of imaging modalities, including CT scans and MRI studies, and color codes the images highlighting areas of the brain that could potentially be saved while delivering reconstructed images to physicians in minutes.

This new technology helps physicians to quickly determine which patients are good candidates for mechanical thrombectomy, which is a procedure to surgically remove a blot clot from the brain.

On average throughout the United States, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every 4 minutes.

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.

For more information about Riverside’s network of stroke care, visit riversidestroke.com.

Published: July 29, 2019