DERRY — Parkland Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment, according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines. This is the second consecutive year Parkland has been recognized with this award.

“As an advanced primary stroke center, Parkland is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients and is once again honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best possible chance of survival after a stroke,” said John Skevington, Parkland's chief executive officer.

He went on, "This achievement is the result of a collaborative effort from our EMS personnel, emergency physicians, cardiologists, radiologists, neurologists, and members of the stroke care team for their ongoing commitment to providing around-the-clock life-saving care in our community.”

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke was developed to assist healthcare professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.

Additionally, Parkland received the Association’s StrokeSM Elite/Target award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA.

If needed, stroke patients who come to Parkland also have access to HCA Healthcare sister facility, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, which is the only New Hampshire hospital-certified comprehensive stroke center, reflecting the highest level of competence for treatment of serious stroke events.

“We are pleased to recognize Parkland Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of neurology, director of acute stroke services, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer re-admissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United State. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times.

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