Baptist Medical Center Beaches Earns Primary Stroke Center Designation
May 12, 2014 | Jacksonville, FL
Baptist Medical Center Beaches has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
As a Primary Stroke Center, Baptist Beaches follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. Baptist Beaches has a dedicated stroke-focused program with neurologists available 24/7 to care for stroke patients.
Within minutes of arrival, a neurologist will be at the patient’s bedside making decisions along with an emergency physician. Baptist Beaches has advanced imaging capabilities to diagnose stroke and an Emergency Room medical team with the proper training to administer tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busting drug for patients who suffer an ischemic stroke (caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain).
Studies have shown that similar to a heart attack when every second counts, a brain attack or stroke requires emergent treatment. According to the American Heart Association, speed of treatment is vital after a stroke, saving lives and helping survivors avoid long-term disabilities. The American Stroke Association recommends stroke patients receive tPA within 60 minutes of hospital arrival. Other studies show tPA can be effective and safe if administered within 4 ½ hours after the onset of stroke symptoms in some patients.
“The Primary Stroke Center designation at Baptist Beaches is an example of our ongoing commitment to continually evaluate the medical needs of the Beaches community and implement new programs and services that best meet the needs of our patients,” said Joe Mitrick, president of Baptist Medical Center Beaches.
“We are glad to be recognized for having the skills and technology in place to give stroke patients the immediate care they need,” Mitrick, said. “Seconds can make a difference in preventing severe brain damage or death.” Emergency Medical Services in Duval and St. Johns counties has been notified that Baptist Beaches is a designated Primary Stroke Center.
“Our Beaches stroke team is fully trained and ready to receive, diagnose and treat patients presenting with acute stroke,” said neurologist Casey Carrigan, MD, director of Baptist Beaches Stroke Center. “We have the expertise and technology for rapid stroke diagnosis and the ability to administer life-saving tPA to people in our community, which can prevent devastating disability. On admission to the hospital, our tPA-treated patients receive one-on-one nursing care of the highest caliber while in our critical care unit.”
Patients who arrive at Baptist Beaches with severe ischemic strokes that do not respond to conventional intravenous tPA will be transferred immediately to The Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. Similarly, patients with hemorrhagic strokes (strokes caused by bleeding in the brain) will be immediately transferred as well.
Led by internationally renowned neurosurgeons Ricardo A. Hanel, MD, PhD, and Eric Sauvageau, MD, the level of expertise and access at Baptist’s Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center is unprecedented in our region.
“We are available 24/7 with neuro-critical care coverage to take care of the community,” Dr. Hanel said. “There is no single neurological, cerebrovascular or neuro-oncological disease that cannot be treated by our new Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center.”
Both doctors specialize in groundbreaking minimally invasive procedures for treating strokes, cerebral aneurysms, brain tumors and brain arteriovenous malformations. They are known for their advanced treatment of aneurysms, including flow diverter technology, stenting and coiling, as well as more traditional methods, such as clipping and bypasses.
“With one phone call, our Beaches medical team can arrange to have a patient transferred downtown immediately—either by LifeFlight or ambulance—to the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center and an intervention team will be ready as soon as the patient arrives,” Mitrick said. “Baptist is the place to go for advanced, lifesaving stroke care.”