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CGH Medical Center Designated as "Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital"

Hospital news | Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Contact: Dana McCoy

CGH Medical Center in Sterling, Illinois has been recognized as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), as of September 8, 2015.

The designation recognizes CGH as stroke capable by the Emergency Medical Services which will enable potential stroke patients to be brought via ambulance to CGH. Otherwise, the designation allows ambulances transporting stroke patients to bypass hospitals not designated as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH).

"When a stroke occurs there is a small window of time in which to begin treatment before it is too late," said Dr. David Kavanaugh, Emergency Department Medical Director at CGH. "Being a 'Stroke Ready Hospital' means our emergency department has the expertise and medication to diagnose and treat the stroke with advanced therapies to minimize the damage that occurs from the stroke. If a stroke requires even higher levels of neurologic expertise, we have partnerships with excellent area treatment centers in order to rapidly transfer patients to ensure the best possible outcome for every stroke patient."

In 2009, the Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 2244, allowing the creation of stroke systems of care in Illinois. The law identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care and directs Emergency Medical Services personnel to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals. The Illinois Hospital Association worked with the American Heart Association and the IDPH to create regulation and enact the landmark legislation.

"CGH is committed to providing exceptional care for patients that present to the Emergency Department with stoke symptoms," said Teresa Smith, CGH Director of Quality Resources. "Meeting the quality standards required for the ESRH Designation and partnering with the stroke centers in our region translates into improved outcomes for our patients who are diagnosed with a stroke. We are so proud of our staff and physicians for their commitment to providing highest level of stroke care to our community. Their teamwork and dedication to this project will save lives and improve outcomes of stroke patients by providing timely identification and treatment."

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United Sates behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the leading source for long-term disability in the nation.

Stroke is a medical emergency that needs to be treated right away. The acronym F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember signs of stroke and what to do if you think a stroke has occurred. The most important action to take is to immediately call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • FACE. Ask the person to smile. Check to see if one side of the face droops.
  • ARMS. Ask the person to raise both arms. See if one arm drifts downward.
  • SPEECH. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Check to see if words are slurred and if the sentence is repeated correctly.
  • TIME. If a person shows any of these symptoms, time is essential. It is important to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. Call 9-1-1. Act F.A.S.T