Mayo Clinic's campuses in Florida and Minnesota are each certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, a national organization that evaluates and accredits hospitals and staff. Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona, and the Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Mankato, Minnesota, are certified as Primary Stroke Centers by The Joint Commission.
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Disposition: Disposition is the last link in the chain of survival. This step in stroke care focuses on the continuing care of the stroke patient. It is recommended that patients be admitted to an intensive care unit or stroke unit within three hours of arrival in the ED. Continued monitoring of a stroke patient includes frequent assessment of neurological status and monitoring of glucose levels and vitals, as well as prevention of complications. Determining the cause of the stroke is also part of disposition.
The overall goal of stroke care is to minimize brain injury and optimize the individual’s recovery. Preferential transport to stroke-capable centers has been shown to improve outcomes. Stroke centers are equipped with resources often not available at smaller community hospitals. The presence of specialists, including neurologists and stroke care specialists, multidisciplinary teams experienced in stroke care, advanced imaging modalities, and other therapeutic options make transport to stroke centers the most suitable option. The goal of the stroke team, emergency physician, or other experts should be to assess the individual with suspected stroke within ten minutes.
When someone is having symptoms of a stroke – slurred speech, sudden leg or arm weakness, facial drooping, loss of balance or visual changes – getting them to the hospital quickly can mean the difference between recovery and permanent disability. One of the best treatments for ischemic stroke is treatment with the clot-busting drug, intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, or IV tPA. If given in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, IV tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. UofL Hospital Stroke Center staff strive to deliver IV tPA to appropriate patients within 45 minutes to one hour from the time they arrive at the hospital.
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