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Heathwise: Stroke Honor Roll

Nov. 2, 2011

When treating a stroke, every second matters. The quicker patients receive a stroke reversing drug, TPA, the better their chances.

"The studies that looked at this showed up to a 30% increased likelihood of a good outcome, meaning that you'll leave the hospital with little or few deficits," said Alexander Grunsfeld, the MJH Stroke Director.

A patient needs TPA within four and a half hours of the onset of a stroke. Martha Jefferson is now being recognized on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll for administering the drug within just one hour.

"For the past year Martha Jefferson has been able to provide 50 percent or more of our patients with a door to needle time of 60 minutes or less," said Christi Hankle, the MJH Neurological Services.

It is something they say is possible because of team work.

"It is a huge team effort, it starts with the medical emergency services helping them to understand the signs and symptoms of a stroke," said Hankle.

"Once the patient comes into the hospital you are depending on the emergency department staff to quickly realize this is possibly a stroke and then a bunch of other teams get involved as well as radiology." said Grunsfeld.

Not only is this an important recognition for staff, it is a good sign for patients too.

"It gives me great confidence in Martha Jefferson Hospital that if patients show up here we are going to be able to provide the medicine that they need in a timely matter," said Grunsfeld.

Martha Jefferson Hospital has accomplished the goal of making the Target Honor Roll twice, and staff say they'll work to stay on that list each and every year.

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