During a stroke brain cells begin to die from lack of blood and oxygen in a matter of seconds. The quicker a patient receives care, the better their chances of recovery. Franciscan Health's stroke triage protocols ensure fast response for stroke care.
Strokes Happen Fast – Stroke Care Needs to Be Fast Too
Stroke patients at Franciscan Health can count on receiving the finest available care quickly. Our commitment to positive outcomes is reflected by our achievement of the Primary Stroke Recertification from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), an independent, nationally recognized accreditation authority.
All patients exhibiting symptoms of stroke are triaged as a patient for Stroke Alert. When this determination is made, numerous things will begin to happen quickly. The team of nurses, emergency physicians, neurologists, radiologists, critical care doctors, surgeons and others can make treatment determinations within 60 minutes of symptom presentation.
When a patient exhibits signs of a stroke, a first responder is immediately sent to the patient’s bedside, whether in the emergency room or on a nursing floor, to assess the patient. This begins a series of rapid activities, including lab work and CT imaging, to provide our emergency physicians and/or neurologist with the proper diagnostic information to determine which interventions are best based on each individual case. The physicians already on the case may bring other specialists, such as neurosurgeons or neuro-interventionalists, into the case depending on the course of treatment.
Stroke Alert protocols are defined for each stage of stroke treatment, including:
- The patient’s arrival to the emergency room, where the patient is rapidly triaged into our Stroke Alert protocol
- Immediately, the patient is seen by emergency nurses and physicians, utilizing state-of-the-art CT imaging and lab services available 24 hours a day
- Physician consultation occurs between the emergency physicians and other specialists, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, critical care physicians, or neuro-interventionalists
- Administration of tPA, a drug that dissolves blood clots and helps restore flow to the brain
- Critical care monitoring after treatments or interventions
- The point of discharge to home or to stroke rehabilitation
Signs of stroke: remember to act FAST
The acronym FAST is an easy way to remember signs of stroke and what to do if you think a stroke has occurred. However, it is important to always keep in mind that the most important thing to do is to immediately call 911 for emergency assistance.
FAST stands for:
- (F)ace. Ask the person to smile. Check to see if one side of the face droops.
- (A)rms. Ask the person to raise both arms. See if one arm drifts downward.
- (S)peech. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Check to see if words are slurred and if the sentence is repeated correctly.
- (T)ime. If a person shows any of these symptoms, time is essential. It is important to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. Call 911. Act FAST.