Good Samaritan Hospital Receives Stroke Center Designation from New York State Department of Health

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Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y. has been designated a Stroke Center by The New York State Department of HealthÂ?s Hospital Review and Planning Council at their regular meeting on Thursday, April 7, 2005.

Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y. has been designated a Stroke Center by The New York State Department of Health’s Hospital Review and Planning Council at their regular meeting on Thursday, April 7, 2005.

Hospitals with designated stroke centers meet the Brain Attack Coalition guidelines, a model that requires that centers include acute stroke teams available to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week; a specialized unit dedicated to stroke care; appropriate laboratory services; and an experienced staff that undergoes regular continuing medical education.

A stroke, which is sometimes also called a “brain attack,” occurs when a blood vessel (artery) that supplies blood to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot. Within minutes, the nerve cells in that area of the brain are damaged, and they die within a few hours. As a result, the part of the body controlled by the damaged section of the brain cannot function properly. The concept behind designated stroke centers is to reduce mortality and complications and improve clinical outcomes so more people who experience stroke can go home to resume the rest of their lives, instead of having to go to long-term care or extensive rehabilitation.

“We are extremely gratified that our application to become a designated stroke center has been approved,” said Michael Schnieders, Executive Vice President and Administrator of Good Samaritan Hospital. “This is yet another area in which we are bringing the most advanced care and treatments to our community, and it comes on the heels of our approval as a cardiac surgery center.”

Designated stroke centers administer clot-busting therapy and respond with needed tests and exams for acute stroke patients better than hospitals lacking certification, according to two new studies presented at the American Stroke Association’s 2005 International Stroke Conference in February in New Orleans. Giving clot busters within three hours of symptom onset can reduce disability from stroke.

“The success of treatment for stroke depends greatly on people’s ability to recognize signs and symptoms of a brain attack, or a stroke, and in getting to the hospital quickly,” said Dr. Stuart Lestch, M.D., a neurologist and director of the Stroke Program at Good Samaritan Hospital, who noted the five warning signs of stroke, which include:

•    Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body,

•    Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding,

•    Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes,

•    Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination,

•    Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

“If you or anyone you are with experience one or more of these symptoms, it is essential to get to a hospital immediately. Treatment within three hours of symptom onset can be the difference between full recovery and long-term problems,” said Dr. Lestch.

Good Samaritan Hospital is a member of Bon Secours Health System, Inc., one of the nation’s leading Catholic healthcare systems. It is also part of the regional Bon Secours Charity Health System, which includes St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick, NY and Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, New York. Additionally, Bon Secours Charity Health System provides the services of a Certified Home Health Agency, two long-term care facilities, an assisted living and adult home facility and several other medical programs. For more information about the stroke program at Good Samaritan Hospital, or any of its programs, visit their website at http://www.goodsamhosp.org, or contact Good Samaritan Hospital at 845-368-5000.

Media Contact:

John Lonsdorf

R&J Public Relations, LLC

(973) 541-5242

Jlonsdorf@RandJpr.com

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