OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa has received designation as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital (ASRH) from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
"This designation is a testament to the ongoing dedication that our Mission Partners have to providing our communities with high-quality care," said Ken Beutke, president of OSF Saint Elizabeth. "Our caregivers work as a team while adhering to strict clinical practices to ensure our patients receive rapid care when it matters most."
The Primary Stroke Center Laws passed in 2009 and updated in 2015, allows the IDPH to identify hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care and directs EMS providers to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals.
"This designation is a tribute to the collaborative teamwork between EMS services and the hospital’s emergency, diagnostic imaging, and laboratory departments,” stated Amanda Los, RN, director of emergency services for OSF Saint Elizabeth. "We put a lot of effort into streamlining processes for early identification and rapid diagnosis of stroke to ensure our patients receive high-quality and timely care."
"To maintain the ASRH designation, the hospital must meet specific criteria, and OSF Saint Elizabeth has worked hard to achieve this," said Nicholas Reinhart, DO, emergency medicine. "EMS can notify us of an incoming stroke patient, which results in the fastest treatment possible upon arrival, or quick transfer to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford; our closest Comprehensive Stroke Center. This designation ensures our community has access to the highest levels of stroke care in the state."
To receive the designation, hospitals must measure their outcomes and times to treatment and are subject to random inspections by the state.
In the event of a stroke, think FAST. FAST is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke.
• Face - Ask the person to smile or show teeth. Is the person's smile uneven or one side drooping?
• Arm - Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
• Speech - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the speech slurred? Is the sentence repeated correctly?
• Time - If one of these symptoms is present, don't drive; call 9-1-1 and check the time for when the first symptoms appeared.
Meanwhile, OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center is offering a Stroke Support Group with the first session on Friday, March 6, from 9 to 10 a.m. The Stroke Support Group provides support for persons who have had a stroke, their families, and friends. This informal meeting allows attendees to share experiences, solve problems they may encounter, and answer questions of those who are or have been in similar circumstances.
Participants will learn about stroke recovery, rehabilitation, and prevention. Also, explore resources and support available to live a satisfying life while coping with losses and disabilities associated with stroke.
The Stroke Support Group will meet the first Friday of every month from 9 to 10 a.m. in Meeting Room 4 of OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. No reservations are required.
With questions, please call Mary Yuhas, speech-language pathologist, at 815-431-5316.
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