Baxter Regional Medical Center has been recognized by the Arkansas Department
of Health (ADH) as an Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospital (ArSRH).
“With stroke, every second counts. Each hour of delay in stroke treatment
ages the brain close to 4 years and increases the chances of permanent
disability,” said Appathurai Balamurugan, MD, DrPH, State Chronic
Disease Director and Medical Director for the ADH Chronic Disease Branch.
“The ArSRH designation ensures that stroke patients make it to the
closest appropriate hospital when they dial 911.”
Stroke continues to take a significant toll on our state. The most recent
data show Arkansas has the fifth highest stroke death rate in the country,
with over 45 deaths per 100,000 people every year. Stroke is a leading
cause of serious disability. Although life-saving treatment is available
to reverse the effects of the most common type of stroke, few patients
receive medical care in time.
Hospitals recognized with the ArSRH designation partner with local EMS
to improve outcomes by helping ensure stroke patients are rapidly transported
to the most appropriate hospital. EMS providers screen patients with standardized
protocols to effectively recognize stroke and make sure patients receive
the right kind of care.
Arkansas’ stroke system of care consists of Joint Commission certified
Primary Stroke Centers and ADH designated ArSRHs. Hospitals designated
as ArSRHs are capable of providing time-critical care to the stroke patient,
including initial emergency evaluation, real-time stroke assessment and
treatment through telemedicine.
B.E. F.A.S.T. acronym is a way to recognize stroke and what to do when it is suspected:
B – Balance: Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
E – Eyes: Is there a sudden change in vision or trouble seeing?
F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?
A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb?
S – Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak,
or are they hard to understand?
T – Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms,
even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital
healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/stroke-ready-hospitals-in-arkansas for a listing of stroke designated hospitals in Arkansas.