McLaren Bay Region Provides Exceptional Care as Primary Stroke Center
For every minute a stroke is left untreated, millions of brain cells die. Even short delays in treatment can change a patient's future or even claim a life. That's why immediate, focused, and expert care for stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) is essential to a community. Designated as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, McLaren Bay Region is among the best of the best in stroke care.
McLaren Bay Region Meets Rigorous Standards
"Designated as a Primary
Stroke Center, McLaren Bay Region is
among the best of the
best in stroke care."
"Stroke certification speaks to the level of competence in stroke care-the ability to respond efficiently and appropriately to patients with stroke or TIA," explains Linda Szafranski, director of Patient Care Services for McLaren Bay Region. "This is a rigorous program with extremely high standards and expectations."
Although McLaren Bay Region received the designation four years ago, the medical center works with The Joint Commission continuously to maintain the prestigious status. Each month, the medical center sends quality data to The Joint Commission for review and feedback. And every other year, The Joint Commission conducts a site visit to review the program and discuss potential improvements.
In addition, McLaren Bay Region was one of only eight Michigan hospitals recognized at the annual Michigan Stroke Conference in September 2010 for achieving 90 percent or greater compliance with all specified care measures for four consecutive quarters. This is a prestigious honor that speaks to the hospital's focus on excellence in stroke care.
Advanced Treatments Enhance Patient Care
One requirement to maintain Primary Stroke Center status is to provide the most advanced treatment and highest expertise. For example, for appropriate patients, McLaren Bay Region administers TPA-the only FDA-approved drug to treat blood clots in the brain. Although the lifesaving drug is typically given in hospitals through an IV, McLaren Bay Region has the capability of providing intra-arterial TPA. That is, the drug is injected directly into the blood clot in the brain. This delicate procedure can only be performed by a specially trained neurointerventionalist.
"TPA is an extremely effective drug, but it can only be given within two to four hours after the first sign of stroke," explains Szafranski. "By having a trained neurointerventionalist on staff at McLaren Bay Region who can perform this procedure, we expand treatment time to about six hours." In addition, the hospital has a fellowship-trained stroke neurologist, with advanced knowledge and training in stroke treatment. This increases the level of expert care.
"Not every hospital can be a designated Primary Stroke Center," says Szafranski. "We are proud to offer this level of excellence in stroke care to patients in the surrounding area."