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Primary Plus Stroke Center certification earned by Abrazo West

Jan 15, 2021

StrokeAbrazo West Campus has earned Primary Plus Stroke Center certification for its ability to evaluate, stabilize and provide emergency care to all patients with acute stroke symptoms and if necessary, admit patients to a dedicated stroke care unit.

Primary Plus Stroke Center granted by DNV GL Healthcare means Abrazo West Campus goes beyond the requirements of a primary stroke center, with the addition of training, equipment, experience and personnel for performing thrombectomies and post-care for the treatment of acute ischemic strokes.

More than 87 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes caused by a clot that cuts off blood flow to a part of the brain. They are largely treatable if a patient gets to a hospital that can provide the right treatment in time. Studies have shown the value of mechanical thrombectomy for large vessel occlusive ischemic strokes, according to Interventional Neurologist Dr. Sushant Kale.

“Getting this certification shows that Abrazo West has necessary resources to take care of these complex patients, which includes stroke trained Emergency Department staff, advanced neuro imaging facilities, a neurointerventional biplane suite, neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuro interventional and intensive care physicians and rehabilitation services,” explained Dr. Kale.

The certification is great news for community, added Abrazo West Campus CEO Christina Oh.

“Abrazo West is continuously investing in talent and our facility for the benefit of our community. Every second is critical in minimizing the damage caused by a stroke. Quickly and effectively treating stroke helps preserve brain function and a better quality of life for patients after a stroke,” she said.

The types of patients who might use and benefit from a Primary Plus Stroke Center include, but are not limited to, patients with ischemic strokes, large vessel occlusions, hemorrhagic strokes, or strokes from unusual causes that may require specialized testing or interventional therapies, according to accrediting body DNV-GL Healthcare.

Primary Plus Stroke Center Certification requirements are based in whole or in part on the most current recommendations from the Brain Attack Coalition (BAC), American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Conditions of Participation as well as the World Stroke Association.

“This is an incredible accomplishment in our commitment to serve the growing West Valley community. We appreciate the collaboration and integration between our Abrazo neurosciences programs, which will continue to be complimentary to serve any stroke patient’s needs,” added Oh.

“Congratulations to our stroke team and thank you to our physician partners for helping us achieve certification during such a tumultuous year. We continue to learn from and challenge one another in delivering better stroke care across the state,” she said.

Learn the FAST warning signs of stroke

An easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke and how to respond is with the acronym FAST:

F = Face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?
A = Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
= Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
= Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. 

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