St. John’s receives award for stroke care


St. John’s Episcopal Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® — Stroke Bronze Quality Achievement Award for its commitment and success in implementing a high standard of stroke care and applying nationally accepted standards to patient care.

To qualify for the award, the 257-bed Far Rockaway hospital consistently followed the Guidelines treatment program for 90 days for each stroke patient. It includes an aggressive use of medications, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and having patients stop smoking.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost,” said Dr. Natalie Schwartz, senior vice president of Quality Management at St. John’s said, adding that the treatment program address the all important time factor.

A comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department was developed by the hospital. It includes providing brain imaging scans, neurologists conducting patient evaluation and using clot-busting medications when needed.

“We commend St. John’s Episcopal Hospital for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, chairman, of the national Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the U.S., according to the AHA/ASA. 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.