Pullman Regional Hospital has earned Acute Stroke Ready Certification from DNV—an international accrediting body for healthcare organizations. To earn certification, a hospital must meet or exceed evidence-based standards set forth by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and Brain Attack Coalition.
“Responding to a stroke is all about time,” said Stephanie Knewbow, Emergency Department Director, registered nurse and Stroke Coordinator for Pullman Regional Hospital, alongside Dr. Aaron Scott, the Stroke Team supervising medical doctor. “The saying goes, ‘Time is Brain.’ This certification means we’re able to assess our patients, connect with a stroke specialist, neurologist or neurosurgeon, administer thrombolytics (a clot busting medication)—when prescribed, and admit or stabilize and transfer our patients all within specific windows of time.”
“This is when being a small hospital is a tremendous asset,” said Kim Johnson, registered emergency medicine nurse and Pullman Regional Hospital stroke educator. “Our CT machine is steps away from our emergency department, and we don’t have to wait to get our patient in for imaging. In minutes we can be connected to a neurologist who specializes in stroke care so we can proceed with the best treatment to save brain function.”
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is a leading cause of death, killing nearly 130,000 people each year, and is a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. Pullman Regional Hospital’s Emergency Department treats about 80-100 stroke patients a year. While this is less than 1% of the patients seen each year in Pullman, the consequences of stroke are significant; on average a stroke, ages a person by 36 years.
When a ‘Code Stroke’ is implemented at Pullman Regional Hospital, a team of 8 immediately respond. Team members include emergency physicians, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, emergency nurses, intensive care unit nurses, certified nursing assistants, CT technologists, laboratory technicians, and clinical coordinators.
“It’s crucial our hospital is best equipped to take fast and effective action for stroke,” said Verna Yockey, Director of the ICU and Medical-Surgical Unit and member of the Pullman Regional Hospital Stroke Team. “When it’s your family member in the ambulance, you want to know your hospital has a dedicated team and proven protocol. When it’s a code stroke, we drop what we’re doing and respond. We each have a dedicated role and we practice and practice and practice through mock codes.”
Recognize the symptoms of stroke with FAST:
- F = Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
- A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?
- T = Time to call 911
May is Stroke Awareness month. Follow Pullman Regional Hospital on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more.
Contact: Alison Weigley, Director of External Relations
Pullman Regional Hospital & Foundation
Office: (509) 332-2041 / Cell: (509) 330-0242