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Huntsville Hospital honored for stroke care

Huntsville Hospital has received the American Heart Association’s 2023 Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award for its commitment to ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

The flagship campus of the not-for-profit Huntsville Hospital Health System, Huntsville Hospital treats more stroke patients than any facility in North Alabama. Its multi-disciplinary stroke team responds to about 1,500 stroke alerts each year and is available around the clock.

The team includes paramedics; Emergency Department physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners; neurologists; neurology nurse practitioners; Neuro Intensive Care and Neuro Progressive Care nurses; neuro-radiologists; neuro-interventional radiology; and pharmacy.

“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Huntsville Hospital for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Dr. Steven Messe, volunteer chairperson of the American Heart Association Stroke System of Care Advisory Group and professor of neurology and director of fellowships of neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for health care systems, families and communities.”

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die.

Early stroke detection and treatment are keys to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery times.

Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research- and evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines – Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

Hospitals qualify for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants educate patients to help them manage their health and recovery at home.

Huntsville Hospital has been certified as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center since 2007 and extends its stroke care across the region through the North Alabama Neuro-Stroke Network telemedicine program.

In addition to Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus, Huntsville Hospital received the following American Heart Association recognitions for 2023:

  • Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting specific criteria to reduce the time between a stroke patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster alteplase.
  • Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy for meeting specific criteria to reduce the time between a patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment to remove the clot causing the stroke.
  • Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll for working to ensure that patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

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