St. Joseph Health System
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Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, dies of a stroke every four minutes and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. A stroke occurs when the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain is suddenly interrupted. There are two types of Stroke:

1. Ischemic Stroke - Caused by the build up of fatty deposits (plaque) in a brain artery, or by a blood clot which blocks blood flow.

2. Hemorrhagic Stroke - Caused by a sudden rupture of an artery leading to the brain.

Symptoms or Sign of Stroke:
Slurring or trouble speaking
Difficulty feeling or moving on one side of the body
Brief episode of a weakness of an arm or leg
Loss of vision 
Dizziness or confusion
Faint (syncope) or feeling faint
Evidence based indicators are aspects of care that have been scientifically proven to improve clinical outcomes
The indicators of stroke care include:

  • Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prophylaxis: Ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients who received VTE prophylaxis or have documentation why no VTE prophylaxis was given the day of or the day after hospital admission
  • Discharged on Antithrombotic Therapy: Ischemic stroke patients prescribed antithrombotic therapy at hospital discharge
  • Anticoagulation Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation/Flutter: Ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation/flutter who are prescribed anticoagulation therapy at hospital discharge
  • Thrombolytic Therapy: Acute ischemic stroke patients who arrive at this hospital within 2 hours of time last known well and for whom IV t-PA was initiated at this hospital within 3 hours of time last known well
  • Antithrombotic Therapy By End of Hospital Day 2: Ischemic stroke patients administered antithrombotic therapy by the end of hospital day 2
  • Discharged on Statin Medication: Ischemic stroke patients with LDL greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL, or LDL not measured, or who were on a lipid-lowering medication prior to hospital arrival are prescribed statin medication at hospital discharge
  • Stroke Education: Ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke patients or their caregivers who were given educational materials during the hospital stay addressing all of the following: activation of emergency medical system, need for follow-up after discharge, medications prescribed at discharge, risk factors for stroke, and warning signs and symptoms of stroke
  • Assessed for Rehabilitation: Ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke patients who were assessed for rehabilitation services

Since 2010 at St Joseph, over 90% of patients with stroke receive all appropriate indicators of care. This performance is among the best in the country. St. Joseph was recently recognized as one of the Top 10% hospitals in the nation for Stroke Care by HealthGrades for 2012.


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