PADUCAH —  The Baptist Health Paducah stroke program joined an elite group by being honored with The Get With the Guidelines® Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award for meeting national guidelines for stroke care, as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

 In addition, the hospital received the associations’ Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-busting drug known as tPA. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

 “This award says we strive for the best possible care for our patients,” said neurologist Joseph Ashburn, MD, stroke services director. “While meeting the minimum requirements for a stroke center is considered acceptable, we at Baptist Health believe the people of our region deserve nothing less than the very best medicine has to offer. We are always moving forward to take it to the next level.”

 Baptist Health Paducah became the region’s first certified primary stroke center in 2009. Since then, the administration of tPA has increased from 9 percent of total stroke patients to 75 percent for eligible patients.

 Neuroscience coordinator Chapman Offutt, RN, said the hospital is 100 percent compliant with a door to tPA administration time of less than 60 minutes, and met the goal of 50 percent or more of tPA patients receiving the drug less than 45 minutes after arrival.  

“This is a huge accomplishment, given the steps that must be completed prior to administering the medication,” Offutt said. “We have developed a very rapid and efficient process to accomplish these goals.”

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