MAYWOOD, Ill. -- For the second year in a row, Loyola University Hospital has won a Get with the GuidelinesÂ® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
The award is given to hospitals that achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all stroke performance guidelines and 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 stroke quality measures. 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, chair of the Get with the Guidelines National Steering Committee.
Get With the Guidelines employs the "teachable moment" right after a patient has had a stroke. Studies have found that teaching patients how to manage risk factors while they still are in the hospital reduces the risk of a second heart attack or stroke.
Loyola provides evidence-based specialized stroke care from a multidisciplinary team of stroke experts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Loyola recently was recertified by the Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center.
The 4.5 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 stroke specialist Dr. JosÃ© 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.