Chandler Regional stroke-treatment model gets prelim OK

Chandler Regional Medical Center has received provisional stroke center accreditation from the Arizona Stroke Commission.

A specialized stroke-care treatment model was implemented in September at Chandler Regional and its sister hospital Mercy Gilbert.

Both are part of the Catholic Healthcare West hospital network.

Each center has also submitted an accreditation application to the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Center status, the designation for medical facilities that demonstrate exceptional effort in treating and improving long-term outcomes for stroke patients, and anticipate full approval early in the first quarter of 2011.

Stroke affects an estimated 700,000 people annually, according to Peg Smith, vice president and chief nursing officer at Chandler Regional. She says statistics list it as a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults, and the third leading cause of death in the United States.

“Time is of the essence when treating someone who has suffered a stroke,” said Smith.

She said that recognizing the symptoms and correctly diagnosing the cause ensure the best possible care and outcome for stroke patients. “Many patients can be saved from lifelong disability when the correct medical treatment is administered within three hours of symptom onset,” Smith said.

Both hospitals work collaboratively with Barrow Neurological Institute, one of the nation’s leading neurological hospitals, giving patients access to consultation and treatment by world-renowned neurologists.

Stroke patients are already benefitting from the quality of care at Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers. Nurse Chelsea Kipper was recently credited with saving the life and brain of a patient who was in the very early stages of a hemorrhagic stroke.

“The patient’s daughter started tearing up as she told me that Chelsea noticed some very subtle neurological changes in her mother and immediately summoned the help which got her into the intensive care unit,” said Troy Garland, senior director of nursing at Chandler Regional.

“The care of our neurologically impaired patients is extraordinarily dependent upon the skill and dedication of professional, bedside nurses like Chelsea,” said Garland. “Her actions saved this patient’s life.”



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