Cumberland Medical Center is pleased to announce it is now an Advanced Primary Stroke Center after receiving stroke-related certifications from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
The medical center received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. This certification recognizes hospitals that have demonstrated the greatest level of commitments to the care of stroke patients.
As a part of the certification process, Cumberland Medical Center underwent an extensive onsite review by Joint Commission experts who evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.
“Time is critical when treating a stroke. We have established rigorous protocols to quickly identify and treat stroke patients,” said Cumberland Medical Center Chief Administrative Officer and President David Bunch. “I’m pleased with our team’s tremendous work to earn this designation, which confirms our patients receive excellent care.”
Cumberland Medical Center is a member of Covenant Health, the region’s only stroke hospital network. Six other Covenant Health hospitals – Fort Loudoun Medical Center, LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System, Parkwest Medical Center, and Roane Medical Center– have been designated Advanced Primary Stroke Centers. Across Covenant Health’s stroke network, 89 percent of patients who come to the emergency department with stroke symptoms are seen in less than 15 minutes.
In addition, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville has again received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’ Heart-Check Mark in conjunction with renewal of the hospital’s advanced certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The designation means that Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center continues to be part of an elite group of providers focused on complex and highly specialized stroke care.
“We are very pleased that these Covenant Health member hospitals have received advanced certifications for stroke care,” said Jim VanderSteeg, president and CEO. “Our stroke hospital network provides convenient local resources for stroke care in the communities we serve, and primary stroke certification is an affirmation of our hospitals’ commitment to patients who experience stroke. The network also provides East Tennesseans with access to the advanced technology and innovative treatments provided by our comprehensive stroke team.”
Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, congratulated Cumberland Medical Center on receiving the designation. “Covenant Health and its member hospitals have clearly made it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke,” she said.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.
A stroke occurs when the blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted by a blocked or broken blood vessel. When a stroke occurs, it kills brain cells in the immediate area. These cells release chemicals that set off a chain reaction that endangers brain cells in a larger surrounding area of brain tissue. Without prompt medical treatment, this larger area will also die. When brain cells die, the abilities that area of the brain controls are lost or impaired. Quick intervention to identify the type of stroke one is experiencing is critical.
Time is important in getting medical attention. Remember “B.E.F.A.S.T.” to quickly identify stroke symptoms:
Balance – Is the person uncoordinated and having difficulty walking?
Eyes – Ask the person if they have double or blurred vision.
Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time – If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911.
To learn more about Cumberland Medical Center’s stroke care, visit CMCHealthcare.org/ stroke-care.