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South County Hospital receives recognitions for stroke care

Published 10/06/2016

South County Hospital recently earned two recognitions from the American Heart Association – ‘Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) Gold Plus Achievement Award’ and the ‘Target: Stroke Honor Roll’ designation.

“The GWTG distinctions demonstrate the Hospital’s commitment to quality and the ability to work as a team dedicated to providing patients with appropriate care based on the latest clinical guidelines,” said Elaine Desmarais, Director of Quality Improvement for South County Hospital.


The Gold Plus Achievement Award recognizes South County Hospital for achieving and sustaining 85 percent or higher adherence to specific evidence-based guidelines for two consecutive years as measured by the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program. The Hospital also attained at least 75 percent or higher adherence with select quality measures in stroke care.

Target: Stroke is a national quality improvement initiative focused on improving acute ischemic stroke care by reducing door-to-needle times for eligible patients being treated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).Target: Stroke

The Target: Stroke Honor Roll designation recognizes hospitals that achieved door-to-needle times within 60 minutes for 50 percent or more applicable stroke patients during at least one quarter of a calendar year. Honor Roll designees must also hold a current ‘Gold Get With The Guidelines-Stroke’ recognition status, of which South County Hospital also achieved.

An ischemic stroke occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases.

The only FDA approved treatment for ischemic strokes is tissue plasminogen activator (tPA, also known as IV rtPA, given intravenous through the arm). tPA works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow. If administered within 3 hours (and up to 4.5 hours in certain eligible patients), tPA may improve the chances of recovering from a stroke. A significant number of stroke victims don’t get to the hospital in time for tPA treatment; this is why it’s so important to identify a stroke immediately.