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King’s Daughters Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.  The award recognizes KDMC’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To be eligible for the award, a facility must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 GWTG Quality Measures.

King’s Daughters achieved 90 to 100 percent compliance with the GWTG –Stroke indicators and quality measures.   

The measures include aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.       

In addition to the GWTG – Stroke award, King’s Daughters also was recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care.

To be eligible for the Honor Roll, at least 50 percent of a hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients must have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as door-to-needle time). tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. FDA for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke.

King’s Daughters achieved a 39-minute door-to-needle time and 100 percent of all eligible patients received this life-saving treatment since January 2011.  

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Award demonstrates KDMC’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Jill Kimm, M.D., inpatient neurologist.  “We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols,”

“King’s Daughters is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” 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. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke uses the teachable moment, the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance.  Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

“The time is right to focus on improving the quality of stroke care,” Dr. Kimm said, “Because the number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population.”

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.

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