Posted: Monday, May 13, 2024

Stroke Care at Blount Memorial

Blount Memorial Hospital stands at the forefront of stroke care, recognized nationally as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and honored as a Joint Commission Top Performer® for STROKE. With a commitment to excellence and innovation, Blount Memorial Hospital provides swift and effective treatment to stroke patients, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

One key advancement in stroke treatment is the administration of "clot-busting" TNK (Tenecteplase) medicine. Blount Memorial Hospital delivers TNK as fast as any other hospital in the region. This medication is particularly effective for ischemic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked. When TNK is administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms, it significantly improves the chances of recovery from a stroke. “In reality, you need to get to Blount Memorial as fast as you can because even minutes of delay means you lose hundreds of thousands of neurons that you can never replace. The quicker you get the clot-busting medicine, the more brain cells you save. Do not wait — if you suspect a stroke, come in ASAP,” emphasized Dr. Deaver Shattuck, Stroke Medical Director with Blount Memorial Hospital.

The dedicated stroke team works seamlessly with emergency personnel to identify and treat stroke patients promptly, even before they reach the emergency department. This proactive approach not only saves time but also reduces the risk of long-term disability or loss of life. “We talk to paramedics while we are preparing for you to arrive at the ER so we’re ready to do everything we can to help you when you arrive. Time is more critical for stroke than any other disease. With a stroke, TNK cannot be administered after three hours. The damage is done and cannot be reversed at that point,” Shattuck explained.

Recognizing the signs of stroke is important for prompt intervention. To aid in this awareness, we encourage everyone to think and act FAST, which is an acronym for Face, Arm, Speech and Time. Is one side of the face drooping? Can the person raise both arms? Is speech slurred or confusing? If you observe any of these symptoms, it is crucial to call 911 immediately. Additional warning signs may include a severe headache with no known cause, blurred vision, difficulty walking or sudden confusion. Time is of the essence in stroke care, and prompt action can make all the difference in saving lives and minimizing disability.

Stroke is a life-altering event, but with timely intervention and comprehensive support, recovery is possible. Blount Memorial Hospital’s commitment to stroke care extends beyond the acute phase of treatment in the emergency department. Comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services through Blount Memorial Total Rehabilitation provide a range of therapies, including occupational, physical, neurological, and speech and language therapies, tailored to meet the unique needs of stroke survivors. Additionally, Blount Memorial Home Services offers physician-ordered skilled care and home health services, ensuring continuity of care and support as patients transition to their homes.

For more information about stroke care, click here.

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