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DeTar Hospital recognized for stroke care

By Elena Watts
July 2, 2013 at 2:02 a.m.


DeTar Hospital Navarro has received recognition for reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

The health care system recently earned accreditation as a receiving hospital for patients with severe heart attacks.

"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost," said Joan Pfister, a registered nurse and stroke program coordinator for DeTar Healthcare System.

To earn the award, DeTar achieved a minimum of 85 percent adherence to American Heart Association and American Stroke Association guidelines for two or more consecutive years. The hospital also complied with at least 75 percent of six quality measures, as required by the Get with the Guidelines-Stroke program.

The measures include aggressive use of medications, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation.

In addition, DeTar Hospital Navarro made the Target: Stroke Honor Roll for improving stroke care. During the last quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital's eligible ischemic stroke patients have received a clot-busting agent, within 60 minutes of arrival at the hospital. When given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, the clot buster has been shown to reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

Ischemic stroke is caused by the narrowing of arteries in the neck and head so blood cannot flow to the brain. It is the most common kind of stroke, according to the website strokecenter.org.

"The time is right for DeTar to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines-Stroke," Pfister said. "The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade because of increasing stoke incidence and a large aging population."

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