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IDPH re-designates St. Joseph's as Acute Stroke ready

April 07, 2023 

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese was recently re-designated as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care and directs EMS providers to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals. 

Kevin Schaubert, RN, emergency department and cardiopulmonary manager, shared, “We are pleased to receive this re-designation which recognizes the emergency stroke care policies and procedures we have in place which align with nationally recognized evidence-based standards and criteria. These allow us to appropriately respond to stroke patients immediately upon arrival,” Schaubert explained. “Receiving this high-level designation once again reaffirms our commitment to offering exceptional emergency care to our region.” 

Outlined criteria to receive the Acute Stroke Ready designation includes developing and adhering to written emergency stroke protocols and the ability, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide all the following:

  • Use of tenecteplase (TNK) medicine to break up or dissolve blood clots
  • Brain image testing (CT scans)
  • Blood coagulation studies  

Additionally, St. Joseph’s uses telemedicine to help rapidly diagnose possible stroke patients. Through this program, a telemedicine cart and monitor stationed in St. Joseph’s emergency department is used by physicians to allow a tele-neurologist to examine a patient suffering a stroke to help expedite treatment decisions, reduce disability, help many patients avoid unnecessary transfers and ultimately save lives.

Act FAST
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital joins with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association in suggesting everyone remember the letters in FAST to spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.

  • F - Face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? 
  • 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, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T- Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Photo Caption: (Left to right) HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese emergency department colleagues Kevin Schaubert, RN, emergency department and cardiopulmonary manager; Mary Fitzgerald, RN; and Heather Hannah, RN, with the telemedicine cart and monitor used by St. Joseph’s to help rapidly diagnose possible stroke patients by connecting with a tele-neurologist for examination.
 

IDPH re-designates St. Joseph's as Acute Stroke ready