CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Nearly 50 area nurses, paramedics and other emergency medical service providers attended a stroke education program on Oct. 14 at Mercy Hospital Jefferson provided by David A. Rempe, M.D., stroke care director at Mercy Hospital St. Louis.
Dr. Rempe talked about the key elements of emergency care for a stroke patient, stroke symptoms, the essential aspects of medical history regarding stroke patients, and the effectiveness of immediate treatments.
"Dr. Rempe's program was informative, entertaining and well received by the participants," said Justin Duncan, EMS Outreach Coordinator at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. "We had representatives from hospitals and EMS agencies from Jefferson, Ste. Geneveive, Washington, Madison, Iron and St. Francois counties. This education program was the first of its kind in our area, providing education to both in and out of hospital staff, in the same forum.
"We recognize and understand that the care of critically ill patients starts in the field and continues in the hospital. With that being said, it only makes sense to provide the same education to both EMS and hospital staff," Duncan said. "I believe everyone involved learned a lot about the latest life-saving techniques for stroke patients."
Earlier this year, Mercy Hospital Jefferson received the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for stroke patients. The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for stroke patients and may reduce disability and save lives.
Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. “Mercy's team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”
The guidelines are all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.