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The Stroke Center


Stroke is the nation's third-leading cause of death and is a major cause of disability. According to the American Heart Institute, about 700,000 Americans will have a stroke this year — that’s someone every 45 seconds. Stroke is our nation’s No. 3 killer and is a leading cause of severe, long-term disability, accounting for more than 1 of every 15 deaths in the United States.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has created an exclusive Stroke Center designation to improve the standard and access to quality of care for patients with a diagnosis of stroke. The nationally recognized criteria requires those hospitals have a strict protocol or program of care and a team in place to care for patients presenting with symptoms of stroke with a rapid, definitive treatment plan.

Mercy Medical Center has been designated as a NYS Stroke Center in recognition of the efforts of its Stroke Team, comprised of a multidisciplinary group that includes emergency physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, vascular surgeons, and rehabilitation specialists. The stroke team is available to respond for evaluation and treatment of stroke patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the Emergency Department.

Mercy also has received a Get With The Guidelines®Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award from the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association.

Get With The Guidelines is the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospital to follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations.To receive the award Mercy achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of ten Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures.

Those measures include aggressive use of medications, anticoagulation therapy, prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation - all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke, also known as a "brain attack",occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a clot or blockage, or a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Generally, effects from a stroke range from mild to severe and can cause a variety of problems including partial or complete paralysis, deficits in motor functions, language deficiencies, loss of comprehension, and word retrieval and emotional changes. Patients may also experience sensory disturbances including pain or numbness following a stroke. Immediate treatment can save someone’s life and enhance his or her chances for a successful recovery.

Five warning signs of stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

According to the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.