Henry Ford Hospital re-certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission

Henry Ford Hospital has been re-certified by The Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest distinction of its kind which recognizes hospitals that have the ability to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.

An independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs in U.S., The Joint Commission conducted a rigorous review of more than 130 elements of performance, including quality measurements and guidelines, before awarding the re-certification, which Henry Ford Hospital first earned in 2016.

By utilizing the most advanced diagnostic tools available, we are able to diagnose stroke within minutes and rapidly begin treatment. This commitment to excellent care has not only earned us re-certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, but also the Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite designation from the American Heart Association, which recognizes our commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally-recognized, research-based guidelines."

Alex Chebl, M.D., Director, Division of Vascular Neurology, Henry Ford Health System and Director, Henry Ford Hospital's Comprehensive Stroke Center

Stroke, also known as a "brain attack," can come in two forms. The most common type of stroke is called an ischemic stroke, in which a blockage causes an interruption of the blood supply to any part of the brain. Every minute in which a large vessel ischemic stroke is untreated, the average person will lose approximately 1.9 million brain cells, according to the American Heart Association. If the blood supply is not restored immediately, this can cause severe brain damage or death.

About 13 percent of strokes are caused by a weakened blood vessel that ruptures. These hemorrhagic strokes cause blood to pool and put pressure on the surrounding tissue. People suffering a hemorrhagic stroke can suffer severe brain damage if the bleeding is not controlled and the pressure relieved.

The Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission is backed by Henry Ford's Stroke Interdisciplinary Team, as well as the Ford Acute Stroke Treatment Team - or FAST Team, which can rapidly evaluate a patient with suspected stroke at any Henry Ford Emergency Department and determine in minutes if the patient should be sent to Henry Ford Hospital for advanced surgical or catheter-based treatments. One of those advanced treatment options is endovascular thrombectomy, which is the insertion of a tiny catheter directly into the brain to retrieve stroke-causing blood clots, restoring normal blood flow in seconds.

Certification reviews from The Joint Commission, including Comprehensive Stroke Center, Primary Stroke Center and Thrombectomy-Capable, occur every two years. Henry Ford Allegiance Health, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital are certified as Primary Stroke Centers, and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is certified as a Thrombectomy-Capable stroke center.

As pioneers in stroke research, Henry Ford experts were instrumental in the development of the drug commonly known as tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), serving as the national coordinating center and one of the primary sites for the national clinical trials. Administered within the first four-and-a-half hours of ischemic stroke onset, tPA targets and dissolves blood clots and improves blood flow. The results of the trial appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and changed the way hospitals cared for stroke patients nationwide. Henry Ford clinicians and researchers continue to participate in ground-breaking clinical trials related to the treatment of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies from stroke every three minutes and 33 seconds.

The warning signs of stroke include sudden loss of balance or trouble walking, blurred vision, facial drooping, sudden weakness of the limbs, slurred speech and debilitating headache. If you or someone else suffers any of these symptoms, call 911 and get to the nearest stroke center.

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