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Advanced Treatment for Stroke

In June, the Barnes-Jewish and Washington University Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center became the first certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Missouri—and one of the first in the country.

The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association established the certification process to recognize hospitals that have the resources and expertise to treat the most complex stroke cases, including brain aneurysms. In 2005, the Joint Commission designated the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center as the first Primary Stroke Center in Missouri.

“What makes a Comprehensive Stroke Center truly comprehensive is that it coordinates the full range of stroke care and treatment, from clot-dissolving medicine to complex interventions and surgery for brain aneurysms,” says David Carpenter, MD, a Washington University vascular neurologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

The Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center underwent a rigorous review process before receiving certification. The staff had to demonstrate that the center had the human resources— and the technology—to perform the neurosurgical or endovascular procedures needed by some patients with stroke and that it offered advanced imaging techniques. Additionally, the center had to show that it participates in stroke research, that it coordinates the care of stroke patients with emergency medical services across the region and that it provides care for patients with stroke after they leave the hospital.

“Our mission,” says Mary Spencer, MSN, RN, neuroscience program director at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, “is to improve stroke care locally and regionally, providing the highest level of treatment available.”

Stroke Center Requirements Primary
Stroke Center
Comprehensive
Stroke Center

80% of acute stroke patients have diagnostic brain image completed within 45 minutes of it being ordered. Imaging is available on site 24/7.

Stroke performance is measured and reviewed to evaluate processes and outcomes and to improve quality of care.

Provide guidelines to Emergency Medical Services that address transferring stroke patients to the comprehensive stroke center.

Has dedicated neuro-intensive care unit (ICU) for complex stroke patients, which includes physician and nursing staff with expertise and experience on site to provide neuro-critical care 24/7.

80% of emergency department practitioners must provide evidence of review of all stroke protocols.

Provide care to 20 or more patients with diagnosed subarachnoid hemorrhage (stroke from burst brain aneurysm) each year.

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