Stroke victims get help

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January 26, 2017 12:00 AM

HELP Acute Stroke Pathway is a new standardized method of care for those suffering a stroke.

Residents of Saskatchewan showing signs of a stroke will benefit from the Acute Stroke Pathway, a standardized method of care that formally launched last week.
The pathway lays down consistent protocols for fast, coordinated, high quality care for stoke patients, which is vital, as the first few hours of symptom onset is when stoke victims are at their highest need for care. 
“It’s a standard of care across Canada that’s set in place, that ensures all emergency rooms and EMS crews follow, so that people receive the most timely and accurate care that they can get,” said Marnie Reiber, registered nurse and stroke navigator at Lloydminster Hospital.
“Studies have shown that 1.9 million brain cells die for every minute a stroke goes untreated.”
As a stroke navigator, it’s Reiber’s job to get patients arriving with a stroke or mini stroke (TIA) through the system, making sure all the best practise guidelines are followed, as well as the appropriate tests, and follow up after the patients are discharged.
Reiber said the goal at Lloydminster Hospital is to have stoke victims get clot busting medication, a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) that breaks up clots in a patient’s blood vessel, within 30 minutes of entering the facility, as well as having 90 per cent of patients treated in less than an hour.
“(Also), getting the knowledge out to the residents of Lloydminster that calling EMS when suspecting stroke-like symptoms is very important—if you call EMS, we are getting ready for you before you even enter the facility,” she said.
“We are getting things prepared, so by calling EMS, the care happens a lot quicker, a lot faster.”
Being the Border City, Lloydminster actually had the benefit of becoming a primary stoke centre in 2008 because of an initiative out of Alberta called QuICR, or the Quality Improvement and Clinical Research Alberta Stroke Program, so residents on both side of the meridian have enjoyed top notch stoke care since the program’s launch.
However, Reiber said there is still some important information residents should know when it comes to identifying and dealing with a person who may be suffering symptoms of a stroke.
She refers to an acronym created by the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation—F.A.S.T.—which stands for Face, Arms, Speech, and Time.
Is the face drooping? Can the person raise both arms? Is their speech slurred or jumbled? If so, it’s time to all 911 right away.
“It’s just a positive thing Saskatchewan is doing,” said Reiber, of the Acute Stoke Pathway.
“And we are reinforcing our practice by using best practice guidelines and following standard pathways and protocols.”

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