NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When a suspected stroke case comes to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital a specialized medical team fights the clock. "The magic number is within three hours," says Scott Christopher, stroke and trauma coordinator for memorial hospital. "From the onset of symptoms we need to have gotten you to the hospital, perform the cat scan, have an expert read that cat scan and then a team to make a decision on whether you are eligible to get a drug that could potentially reverse the symptoms you are having," explained Christopher.
The unified team of professionals is called at this hospital, 'Brain Attack Team.' "They know stroke means time. Time is brain and we've got to act fast," said Tim Hayward, Memorial Hospital Administrator. The emergency room, medical imaging, radiologists, and neurologists go into action. Another crucial team member is the patient. A big challenge is to inform the community to seek immediate help if you suspect stroke. You want to call the ambulance if at all possible. "EMS identifies the patient in the field. They let the hospital know prior to getting here. That's why it's so important that ems is called as opposed to coming in by your private car," emphasized Christopher.
With all this care the patient hopefully recovers on the stroke unit. This is a place where specialized nurses focus on a stroke patient's needs. Along the way, the Joint Commission, the watchdog of hospitals is monitoring every step. "The patient's care is reviewed very critically on number one, did we meet the standard of care and number two, how could we have improved," explained Christopher. It's a community effort that with a bit of time can save individuals from a life altering event.
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