MAYWOOD, Il. -- The American Stroke Association has awarded Loyola University Health System its 2009 Gold Performance Achievement Award for implementing a higher standard of stroke care.
The award is given to hospitals that have demonstrated at least 85 percent adherence to stroke guidelines for at least 24 consecutive months. These measures include aggressive use of clot-busting drugs, blood thinners, anticoagulation therapy, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation.
"The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients," said Dr. Lee Schwamm, a member of the national Get With the Guidelines Steering Committee.
Loyola's Stroke Center has nationally recognized experts in fields related to stroke care, including emergency medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, neuroendovascular surgery, neuropsychology, neuroradiology, stroke rehabilitation, social work, nutrition and specialty nursing. Loyola provides specialized stroke care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The first three hours after a stroke are critical. Loyola's emergency stroke team uses CT scans, MRIs and other tests and procedures to quickly determine the best treatment. "When a stroke occurs, every second counts," said Loyola stroke specialist Dr. Jose Biller. "Time is brain. The faster we can diagnose and treat patients, the better the outcome." Biller is chairman of the Department of Neurology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.