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Published on April 24, 2015

Palos Community Hospital receives Stroke Ready Designation

Palos Community Hospital has received designation as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH) from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Spot a Stroke

Stroke symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness in the leg, arm or face, dizziness, problems with vision or sudden, severe headaches. Remembering the acronym F.A.S.T. will help determine if someone is having a stroke.

F – Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s face uneven?

A – Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S – Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T – Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

SOURCE: American Stroke Association

In 2009, the Illinois General Assembly passed MB2244, allowing the creation of stroke systems of care in Illinois. The law identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care and directs EMS to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals. If, however, the closest hospital has not received its Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital designation, EMS personnel may divert that patient to the next closest designated hospital. With Palos designated, it now means stroke patients can receive high quality treatment right here in their own community.

 “In order to gain the ESRH designation, the hospital must meet specific criteria, and Palos has worked to achieve this,” explains Kurt Wagner, M.D., Emergency Department Medical Director and Director of Stroke Care. “With a stroke, time is brain. Each second a patient waits to be treated denies the brain of much needed blood and oxygen. Getting to an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital by ambulance allows the EMS to notify the hospital of an incoming stroke patient, resulting in faster treatment upon arrival.”