The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has named OSF St. Joseph Medical Center a Primary Stroke Center following the creation of stroke systems of care in Illinois. OSF St. Joseph Medical Center is the first hospital in McLean County to achieve Primary Stroke Center designation with IDPH. The recognition demonstrates the State of Illinois’ confidence in the quality and delivery of stroke care provided by OSF St. Joseph Medical Center.
“OSF St. Joseph Medical Center is committed to serving our community and stroke patients with the highest quality of care by providing excellent stroke care resulting in positive patient outcomes,” said Paula Porter, Neuroscience Service Line Leader of the OSF HealthCare Eastern Region.
In May 2009, the State amended the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act to create stroke systems of care. The legislation identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care, and directs EMS personnel to transport possible acute stroke patients to designated hospitals. Hospitals can be designated as a Primary Stroke Center (PSC) or an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH).
A Primary Stroke Center (PSC) is a hospital with the required 24/7 staffing, medication, and training needed to handle a significant number of stroke cases each year and is equipped to handle strokes requiring advanced treatments. An Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH) signifies a hospital that is prepared to treat a stroke patient according to standard practice and nationally approved guidelines then transfer patients to a Primary Stroke Center (PSC).
In the future, hospitals without a PSC or ESRH designation will not receive EMS-transported patients showing signs of stroke. EMS will divert those patients to the nearest designated facility, unless the EMS Medical Director advises the ambulance to go to the nearest undesignated hospital due to other urgent medical circumstances.
In the event of a stroke, think FAST. FAST is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke.
- Face - Ask the person to smile or show teeth. Is the person's smile uneven or one side drooping?
- Arm - Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the speech slurred? Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time - If one of these symptoms is present, don’t drive; call 9-1-1 and check the time for when the first symptoms appeared.
For more information, or to see which hospitals are designated by IDPH for stroke care, visit http://www.idph.state.il.us/ems/.