HCN News & Notes

Four Baystate Hospitals Recognized for Stroke Care

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health’s four hospitals have received the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Assoc. for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.

Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer, and Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield earned the awards by meeting specific quality-achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients who have access to best practices and lifesaving care throughout Baystate Health.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability, and accelerating recovery times.

Get with the Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Assoc. and American Stroke Assoc. to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research and evidence-based guidelines. Get with the Guidelines – Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

All four hospitals also received the American Heart Assoc. Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award, which recognizes hospitals for their efforts to ensure that patients with type-2 diabetes, who might be at high risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

Baystate Medical Center additionally received the association’s Target: Stoke Elite Plus Honor Roll 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 clot-busting treatment in keeping with the latest scientific evidence to treat ischemic stroke.

Until recently, clot-busting treatment was the only proven therapy to treat ischemic stroke. Now doctors nationwide are using an advanced procedure called thrombectomy, which has transformed care for those with an acute ischemic stroke. In Western Mass., this procedure is performed exclusively at Baystate Medical Center’s state-of-the-art neuro-interventional laboratory.

Thrombectomy involves anesthetizing the patient, then inserting a thin, metallic, stent-like device into an artery in the leg. The neuroendovascular specialist then threads the device up to the blockage in the brain, where it opens to immediately restore blood circulation, eventually grabbing onto the clot and pulling it out.