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Designated Stroke Care Options Expand in CNY


Syracuse, NY (April 3, 2018) – No matter where you're coming from, nationally recognized and designated stroke care is now available at all three major hospitals in Syracuse. St. Joseph’s Health has received the Bronze Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association “Get With The Guidelines®” Stroke program. In addition, the Public Health and Health Planning Council of the New York State Department of Health has designated St. Joseph’s Health Hospital as a Primary Stroke Center. 

“Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and remains the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States. It is critical for patients suffering from a stroke to get care as quickly as possible, and we want people to know that they shouldn’t drive past St. Joseph’s Health in their ambulance to get to another hospital,” said Kevin Thomas, M.D., Neurohospitalist, Neurology Section Chief and Medical Director the Stroke Program at St. Joseph’s Health. “Having this primary stroke designation helps the stroke team at St. Joseph’s Health Hospital improve the quality of care that our community members receive. The rapid evaluation, transportation, and coordination of care provided by all stroke team members can preserve precious brain tissue and improve the outcomes of our stroke patients. “ 

“This primary stroke designation means it is our responsibility to have a plan in place to meet the neurological needs of a patient who has suffered a stroke from the moment they arrive at our door. As the number one hospital for cardiac care in the region, we fully understand each of the heart disease factors that create increased risk for stroke,” said Fahed Saada, M.D., Neurohospitalist with St. Joseph’s Health. “St. Joseph’s consistently works to educate the community about ways that people can work to reduce heart disease and stroke risk. But if someone does suffer from a stroke, it is critical to get that patient to a hospital with expert understanding of these nuances for stroke care, like St. Joseph’s Health. It is also important for the family member, friend or paramedic to note the time of the first symptom of the patient’s stroke, as this information can affect treatment decisions.” 

For a hospital to receive the Bronze level award from the “Get With The Guidelines®” Stroke program, the hospital must consistently demonstrate for 90 consecutive days that patients arrive at the hospital within two hours of the start of the stroke and are treated within three hours of the start of the stroke, among many other requirements for patient treatment at the hospital as well as during and after discharge. 

The common acronym that is used to identify the most common symptoms of a stroke is F.A.S.T.  According to the National Stroke Association, this stands for: 

Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. 

Being able to recognize a stroke, call 9-1-1, and get the patient to a hospital quickly can help improve the patient’s recovery. For more information about St. Joseph’s Health Stroke Care, visit www.sjhsyr.org.  

About St. Joseph’s Health

St. Joseph’s Health is a non-profit regional health care system based in Syracuse, N.Y., providing services to patients throughout Central New York and northern Pennsylvania. From primary to specialty to home care, to our Magnet-recognized hospital, and in collaboration with our community partners, St. Joseph's Health is advancing the health of the communities we serve through an expanding range of healthcare services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. Ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital” and a 15-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award, St. Joseph’s is widely recognized for quality, value and delivering the highest patient satisfaction. St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians and is a member of Trinity Health.

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