Recognize Stroke Symptoms and Act Quickly


(March 6, 2019 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

The news was shocking. Luke Perry, a '90s heartthrob who starred in Beverly Hills 90210, died at the age of 52 as a result of a stroke. Strokes are not limited to the elderly; they can strike anyone at any age at any time.

Maggie Timko, BSN, RN, stroke care coordinator at Monongahela Valley Hospital (MVH), encourages everyone to know the warning signs of a stroke and to act F.A.S.T. if you or someone you are with are displaying these symptoms.

"Strokes are the second most common cause of deaths worldwide and they are preventable, treatable and beatable," said Mrs. Timko. "We tell our patients that time equals brain - the sooner that someone with the signs of a stroke seeks treatment, the level of deficiencies and resulting disabilities is reduced."

The acronym F.A.S.T. is the best way to learn the signs. "F" represents face drooping; "A" denotes arm weakness; "S" corresponds to speech difficulty; and "T" signifies time to call 9-1-1.

People in the mid-Monongahela Valley and surrounding areas have Monongahela Valley Hospital in the community to provide advanced stroke care. MVH has the protocols in place to act quickly to administer therapies to people with stroke symptoms. When a stroke is suspected, the person is immediately given a CT scan. MVH Emergency Department physicians connect with stroke experts via telemedicine, who examine the patient using a two way screen, and start appropriate medications.

MVH has been recognized by prestigious national organizations for its stroke care. For four consecutive years, the hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Gold Plus Award and recognition on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll. These honors place MVH among an elite group of hospitals distinguished by the associations. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient's arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously less than 4-1/2 hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. MVH earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

In addition, MVH has been recognized by the Women's Choice Award® as one of America's Best Stroke Centers. This award places MVH in the top 7 percent of 4,789 U.S. hospitals that offer stroke care services.

"These designations further demonstrate our commitment to delivering quality stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely," Mrs. Timko added.

Share this article:


Current News | More News