May is Stroke Awareness Month, and when this attack on the brain happens, seconds matter. Merit Health Wesley Stroke Center Coordinator Scott Scrimpshire said no one knows that better than the center's staff.
The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association agreed. The organizations awarded Merit Health Wesley with the "Get With The Guidelines- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award."
"We want to focus on three aspects of stroke. Stroke prevention, stroke recognition and stroke treatment," Scrimpshire said.
Scrimpshire explained as a primary stroke center, the hospital met or exceeded the American Stroke Associations Guidelines for stroke care and recovery since 2016. He said that standard of care starts with finding out what kind of stroke a patient suffered as quickly as possible.
"A hemorrhagic is when a vessel in the brain ruptures and blood goes into the brain," Scrimpshire said. "The Ischemic Stroke is when a clot forms or goes to the brain and blocks the blood flow to a portion of the brain."
He said the stoke center staff also looks beyond signs like facial droop, arm weakness and speech difficulty.
"It can be visual disturbances, and it can be just dizziness," Scrimpshire said.
Scrimpshire explained the next step the hospital would take is to give patients a life-saving drug.
"Then there is a medicine we can use called Activase, and activase is a clot buster," Scrimpshire said.
For the best outcome, Scrimpshire said the hospital gives patients the necessary care and medicine all in a three-hour window. He added receiving the award is an honor, but it's about the patients.
"It shows our dedication to giving excellent care to our stroke patients," Scrimpshire said.