Primary Stroke Care
Primary stroke centers or stroke units aid stroke patient recovery by providing immediate ample attention needed by patients not only during the stroke but, more importantly, the days after it.
When a person is having a stroke, the immediate response is to bring him or her to the nearest hospital–any hospital. There’s nothing wrong with that, as this is just practical. However, not all hospitals are equipped in handling stroke cases as quickly as possible as they should when you’re suffering stroke.
This is the reason why a certification program is being issued to medical facilities to help people become more aware on where to go to in case of a stroke. Called Certified Primary Stroke Centers, the Joint Commission awards the Primary Stroke Center Certification to stroke units after these have been evaluated on the basis of compliance with consensus-based national standards, effective use of primary stroke center recommendations and clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care, and performance measurement and improvement activities.
A list of certified stroke units in the U.S. are available on the Joint Commission website for easy identification of which hospital to go to for this purpose. It is actually suggested that one should make oneself a personal list of the nearest stroke unit to where one works and to where one lives in the event of emergency to ensure that you get where you’re supposed to go to at the fastest possible time.
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Time, after all, is a very important factor in saving the life of a person having a stroke. The longer one gets attention, the more grave its possible deficits on the person aside from the higher risk of death. Patients who go to stroke units have really higher chances of recovery as they are given tPA, the intravenous clot-dissolving drug proven to decrease cognitive and physical disabilities due to stroke–provided this is given within 3 hours of stroke onset.
According to Kristine Rueca, a physical therapist based in one of the leading hospitals in the Philippines, knowing where to go during a stroke is not just a preventive measure but a necessary step to ensure that you’ll have less deficits after a stroke.
What normally happens, she said, is that when a patient gets confined in a hospital that is not equipped with primary stroke care, the only thing that’s taken cared of with the patient are the vital signs. The tendency is that patients under this scenario end up having difficulty recovering from stroke, if they recover at all, as disability has already set in.
Patients who get confined in a primary stroke care facility get rehabilitation from physical therapists as soon as their condition stabilizes. This ensures that they quickly recover as much normal functioning as they can and get higher chances of avoiding long-term disability.
Indeed, primary stroke care centers or stroke units aid recovery for stroke patients.
The faster a person gets to one during a stroke, the lesser chances of disabilities.