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Hospital of Central Connecticut's Stroke Center recognized

[June 03 2013] - The Hospital of Central Connecticut's (HOCC's) Stroke Center recently earned national recognition for providing excellent, timely care that can help reduce damage caused by stroke.

HOCC received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesĀ®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for meeting specific stroke care quality measures for two or more consecutive years. These measures include aggressive use of clot-dissolving and cholesterol-reducing medications and other activities aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

In addition The Hospital of Central Connecticut received the association's Target: Stroke Honor Roll recognition for improving stroke care. Target: Stroke, a national quality campaign, aims to have hospitals provide t-PA- clot-dissolving medication - within 60 minutes of a stroke patient's arrival.

"By administering t-PA within 60 minutes, we're reducing the amount of time a clot can block blood flow to the brain, and we're helping to preserve brain cells," said Kristen Hickey, R.N., M.S.N., HOCC Stroke Center coordinator.

"If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, t-PA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability," added Timothy Parsons, M.D., HOCC Stroke Center medical director.

In addition to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognitions, HOCC's Stroke Center has advanced certification as a Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission and has been designated a Primary Stroke Center by the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The Stroke Center treats patients who have had strokes and TIAs (transient ischemic attacks). TIAs produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage; about 20 percent of TIA patients will have a stroke within a month.

In addition, the Stroke Center educates the community and hospital inpatients on identifying stroke symptoms, which include numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body); sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing; sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache with no known cause. The Stroke Center also coordinates rehabilitation services for stroke patients; and works with community agencies and facilities to ensure continuity of care.

For information on stroke prevention and treatment, call HOCC's stroke coordinator, (860) 224-5900, X6764.