JACKSON, Miss. – With the recent addition of the Stroke System of Care at hospitals throughout the state, Mississippi is now the first in the nation to have a third statewide system of care in place to save time in medical procedures and help save the lives of its residents.
The Stroke System of Care joins the ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Care Plan for suspected heart attacks and the Trauma Care System, adopted statewide system to treat patients more quickly and efficiently.
These statewide systems establish a common protocol for first responders to identify certain life-threatening conditions, provide specialized treatment in the field, and transport the patient to the facility best able to render appropriate care quickly. Such integrated systems of care have been shown to save lives in critical circumstances compared to conventional first responder procedures.
“This third statewide system of care has been facilitated through leadership of the Mississippi Healthcare Alliance,” said Jim Craig, MSDH Director of Health Protection. “Mississippians have greatly benefited from the STEMI and Trauma systems by being transported to the appropriate facility for treatment, based on the nearest facility’s capability of care. With the Stroke System, the same principle is in place.”
To be designated as “stroke-ready” hospital, the facility must have 24/7 CT capability and a specific type of drug available to break up blood clots. “Stroke-ready” hospitals perform an initial examination, blood work, CT scans, and drug therapy, if appropriate, before the patient is transported to an official stroke center. Stroke centers must have a neurologist available 24/7, and the capability to conduct interventional neurology. Currently there are two Level 1 Comprehensive stroke centers in Mississippi and four Level 2 stroke centers.
The Stroke System of Care is a collaborate effort between the MSDH, the Mississippi Healthcare Alliance, the Mississippi Hospital Association, and the American Heart Association. For more information, visit www.mshealthcarealliance.org