OCH Regional Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. They focus on appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” said Eddie Coats, OCH Critical Care Manager. “OCH continues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”

OCH Regional Medical Center has also met specific scientific guidelines for a Level 3 Stroke Center designation, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

“The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize OCH Regional Medical Center for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”

Donna Canady said she’s one of those patients who has benefited and continues to benefit from being treated at OCH. In August 2014, Canady was talking to a neighbor when she said her words weren’t making sense. That neighbor brought Canady to the OCH Emergency Room where she received immediate care for a stroke.

“Everyone was so kind and patient with me. They were emotionally supportive. Lori [OCH Speech Language Pathologist Lori Windle] came to my room to help me learn how to swallow so that I could eat again,” explained Canady.

After being discharged, Canady received outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy at OCH Rehab Services to re-gain strength in her arms and legs to help her return to activities of daily living.

In addition to the inpatient care and outpatient rehabilitation, Canady has continued to participate in the OCH Stroke Support Group. Led by OCH Rehab Services Licensed Speech-Language Pathologists Lori Windle and Laurel Jones, the support group helps patients who have experienced communicative, cognitive or swallowing difficulties as a result of stroke.

“It’s hard for others to understand what you’re going through, but the support group meetings help because everyone who is there has been in that boat before either as a patient or a caregiver,” said Canady adding that she couldn’t have made it through the rehabilitation process without her husband, James.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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