Two Ascension Seton hospitals are now “certified comprehensive stroke centers,” capable of providing the highest level of care for “brain attacks” that occur every 40 seconds in the U.S. and kill an American every four minutes.
Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin and University Medical Center Brackenridge achieved national accreditation, which led the Texas Department of State Health Services to announce the new designation.
In more and more states, stroke center certification determines which hospital a patient is transported to for the most appropriate care. Texas requires ambulance teams to take patients to the highest-rated medical center for treating strokes to help ensure the best possible treatment.
This certification is another major step toward building a comprehensive local program for the best stroke treatment possible and ensure the best patient recoveries. For example, Ascension Seton Brain & Spine Institute (SBSI) is participating in several nationwide clinical trials aimed at improving outcomes and recovery from stroke.
“This certification reflects the Ascension Ascension Seton’s commitment to providing patients the highest level of evidence-based care utilizing the latest technological advances,” said Dr. Steven Warach, vascular neurologist who also is network director of cerebrovascular medicine at SBSI and executive director of the Seton/UT Southwestern Clinical Research Institute. “In addition, investments are being made in research to take our quality of care to even higher levels.”
Annually, nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke and nearly 130,000 Americans die as a result, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Stroke costs the nation $38.5 billion annually, including health care costs, medications and lost productivity.
Sometimes called a “brain attack,” a stroke occurs when a clot blocks blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions can increase the risk of having a stroke, according to the CDC.
“Every second counts when a person suffers a stroke. This emphasis on quality treatment and safety standards helps save lives,” said Dr. Jeffrey Miley, SBSI interventional and endovascular neurologist.
SBSI, the largest and most comprehensive neuroscience program in Central Texas, is comprised of medical specialists who use the latest technologies to treat stroke and provide personalized care, from prevention and diagnosis through treatment and follow-up care.