Stockbridge, Ga. (April 18, 2014) – Piedmont Henry Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award for implementing quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.
Piedmont Henry earned the award by meeting quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability from stroke.
“Henry County and Georgia are located in the heart of what we call the ‘Stroke Belt’ or the southeastern portion of the United States known for having an unusually high incidence of stroke,” said Susan Haines, Piedmont Henry. “That makes this award, which acknowledges our hospital’s ability to treat stroke in a timely and effective manner, even more important for our community.”
Henry County’s stroke mortality rate is high, annually averaging about 39 deaths per every 100,000 people, according to the National Center for Health Statistics’ Underlying Causes of Death report for 2006 through 2010. Additionally, the state of Georgia’s stroke death rate is 16 percent higher than the national average.
Stroke, also referred to as a “brain attack,” occurs when a blood vessel breaks or a blood clot blocks an artery, interrupting blood supply to the brain. Strokes can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race or gender.
“The good news is: approximately 80 percent of strokes are preventable with proper treatment when warning signs are observed,” said Richard Stappenback M.D., lead neurologist for Piedmont Henry’s stroke program. “The most common signs of a stroke include sudden difficulty seeing, walking or talking; weakness on one side of the body; and a sudden, severe headache with no known cause.”
The key to optimal recovery of a stroke is to act F.A.S.T.:
• Face – look for an uneven smile
• Arm – check if one arm is weak
• Speech – listen for slurred speech
• Time – call 911 right away
To learn more about stroke prevention and care, visit piedmont.org.