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SBL Achieves Re-Accreditation as Stroke Ready Hospital

August 25, 2023 9:01 a.m.

Sarah Bush Lincoln receives re-accreditation as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Jordan Edwards, SBL Emergency Services director, explained that this certification means SBL staff is well trained and educated to treat someone suffering a stroke, and that SBL has the resources necessary to provide the best care possible.

Cassie Earnst, stroke coordinator, added that SBL submitted information to the IDPH to maintain its accreditation status. This data includes how quickly SBL performs tests on someone who is suffering stroke-like symptoms and how quickly they are treated.

When someone presents with stroke-like symptoms, diagnostic tests are conducted to determine the appropriate treatment. If results indicate that it is a stroke, SBL staff quickly administers appropriate care, which may include the administration of tPA, a drug that dissolves blood clots. If a higher level of care is needed, the person is transferred to an appropriate medical facility.

SBL Neurologist Fatima Alao, MD, explained that strokes are the No. 1 cause of disability in the United States. She added that it’s important for SBL to be accredited so people can receive this critical care close to home.

Dr. Alao emphasized that time is of the essence with strokes. “If a person receives care just as the symptoms are starting, there is a possibility that we can reverse the symptoms or minimize their effect,” she explained.

An easy but important way to remember how to spot a stroke is the acronym BE FAST, which stands for: Balance loss; Eyesight change; Facial drooping; Arm weakness; Speech difficulties; and Time.

Earnst stressed that the longer someone suffers a stroke without receiving treatment, the more damage can be done, so she encourages people to call 911 immediately if stroke symptoms are present in someone.

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