(Aug. 10, 2018) Atlantic General Hospital’s Stroke Center received an official designation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) as a Primary Stroke Center (PSC).

This designation means Atlantic General has met the requirements put forth by the American Stroke Association (ASA), MIEMSS and the Joint Commission to optimize the quality of care to stroke patients.

Stroke is a significant cause of death and long-term disability in the United States. According to the ASA, roughly 700,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke each year. It is the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, and is the leading-cause of long-term disability in this country.

These overwhelming statistics led to recommendations for the development of primary stroke centers to care for acute stroke patients.

Treatment during the first three hours of stroke onset is critical to halt its effects on the body. Atlantic General Hospital has created a stroke team, composed of physicians and nursing staff specially trained in stroke care, and integrated the stroke protocols in its emergency department with the hospital’s diagnostic and inpatient clinical services to further streamline treatment.

They are also continuing efforts to educate the community. Too often, stroke victims ignore or are unaware of the significance of their symptoms and don’t seek the care they need.

Atlantic General Hospital demonstrated significant improvements to the Stroke Center according to the MIEMSS follow-up PSC survey. These improvements assisted in the hospital’s Stroke Center re-designation.

Atlantic General Hospital received its initial designation in 2008 and has been resurveyed every five years.

“The designation of our hospital as an official stroke center emphasizes our commitment to our community’s well-being. Stroke is one the leading causes of death and disability in our country, and I am proud to say that our citizens and our many visitors can feel safe knowing that we adhere to the highest standards of care in stroke,” Dr. Preeti Yonker, medical director of the AGH Stroke Center, said.

This achievement will allow Atlantic General Hospital to continue to provide effective stroke care to more than 4,000 community members each year through preventive education, acute care and rehabilitation services.

“This designation allows for the most up-to-date care for our stroke patients and helps them on their road to recovery after having a stroke. Atlantic General Hospital continues to give the most timely and effective care for the treatment of stroke with the help of this designation,” Scott Rose, director of the AGH Stroke Center, said.

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