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ETMC Tyler designated a Primary Stroke Center by the state

Stroke Designation 

ETMC Tyler Administrator Robert Evans, ETMC Neurology Institute Vice President Jeff Thompson, ETMC President/CEO Elmer G. Ellis, ETMC First Physicians Neurologist Dr. George M. Plotkin, and Director of the state Office of EMS/Trauma Systems Coordination pose during a presentation ceremony in which ETMC Tyler received its official designation as a primary stroke center.  

ETMC Tyler is one of the first 14 hospitals in the state designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Texas Department of State Health Services. “The purpose of the stroke facility designation program is to establish a framework for developing a voluntary, statewide emergency treatment system for stroke victims,” David Lakey, MD, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said. “Stroke designation will allow victims to be treated in appropriate stroke-treatment facilities.”

The state department of health services was in Tyler on Dec. 9 to present the certificate to ETMC Tyler.

“We are honored to receive this designation,” said Jeff Thompson, ETMC Neurological Institute vice president. “This program will allow us to improve the quality of care for stroke patients in Texas.”

ETMC Tyler is able to deliver stroke treatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a special stroke team in place.

ETMC Tyler was the first hospital in East Texas to become a certified stroke center as designated by The Joint Commission. The designation indicates the hospital is dedicated to providing high-quality stroke treatment and care. ETMC’s stroke program has two neuro-interventionalists and also offers round-the-clock coverage for hemorrhagic stroke patients.

This year, ETMC was recognized by the American Heart Association as a silver annual performance award winner for the treatment of stroke patients.

“East Texans face one of the highest stroke mortality rates in our state, and we are working to change that by providing quality stroke care and also community education that urges individuals to seek care quickly if they show symptoms of stroke,” added Thompson. “The faster they seek care, the better their chance of survival and recovery.”

A stroke is an interruption of the flow of blood to the brain. The American Heart Association lists it as the number three killer in the United States.

Symptoms of a stroke include:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg; especially one side of the body.
• Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech.
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

You should call 9-1-1 immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

Some risk factors such as age and family history can’t be changed, but if you work to control the areas you can affect by your choices, you can help reduce your stroke risk.
• Stop smoking.
• Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.
• Eat healthy foods and avoid foods high in fat.
• Have your blood pressure monitored.
• Get moving. Regular exercise helps decrease your risk of stroke.

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Originally posted December 10 2009