News Release Center

3/23/2015 12:00:00 AM CENTRAL
Updated: 4/6/2016 10:31:36 AM CENTRAL
For more information, contact Cora Gremaud.
For Immediate Stroke Care - Think PCMH When Minutes Matter

Approximately 795,000 strokes will occur this year, one occurring every 40 seconds, and taking a life approximately every four minutes.  Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) realizes minutes matter and have taken steps to become certified as a Time Critical Diagnosis and Treatment Center with the State of Missouri in order to best expedite crucial, stroke specific, emergency care.

The State’s Time Critical Diagnosis System (TCD) for stroke has implemented four levels of hospital designations across Missouri.  These designations reflect a range of hospital-based functions within the emergency medical care system and each plays a vital part in the system.  Perry County Memorial Hospital has been awarded the Level III designation.  “Level III facilities have been surveyed by the state and have demonstrated the ability to move a patient presenting with stroke symptoms through a specialized process of immediate diagnosis, neurologist consultation and treatment,” explains Patrick Carron, PCMH President/CEO.  This expert process is critical to stop the stroke process and begin the restoration of circulation to the affected area of the brain using medications.  Further assessment occurs with a consulting neurologist to then determine the appropriate setting for ongoing care, whether that is a large hospital that can advance the care further, or set the course for an acute hospitalization for monitoring and rehabilitation. 

Level III centers play an important role in providing access into the system and important patient care in non-metropolitan areas.  Your closest stroke designated hospital is where a patient with symptoms needs to be to begin the halting of injury, and healing process.   The State’s designated centers are integrated into a large, specialized system with providers coordinating care using processes proven to save lives and function. This evidence-based process is proven to increase the positive outcomes for patients suffering from stroke.   

Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age, and it is crucial to act FAST.  Few Americans know the signs of stroke.  Learning them – and acting FAST when they occur – could save your life or the life of a loved one.  When you think that you or someone you love may be having a stroke, remember the acronym FAST: Face, Arms, Speech and Time.  Face: ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? Arms: ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Speech: ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.  Does the speech sound slurred or strange? Time: if you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 911 immediately.

Missouri’s TCD System, which PCMH is a part of, begins a coordinated response the minute you call 911.  Treatment begins as soon as emergency medical responders arrive.  PCMH is alerted so a specialized medical team is ready to continue your care as soon as you arrive.  In the TCD System, incident recognition triggers a coordinated response for trauma, stroke and heart attack, the leading causes of death in situations where timely critical care could help save a life.

For more information about Missouri’s Time Critical Diagnosis System, call Perry County Memorial Hospital at 573-547-2536.  Perry County Health System, dba Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH), is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, critical access hospital located in Perryville, Missouri.  Perry County Health System includes Perry County Memorial Hospital, the physician practices found on the PCMH Campus, PFCC West, Perry County Dialysis and Counseling Center, the Perry County Memorial Hospital Ambulance Service, Prescriptions Plus Pharmacy, and more.  The organization is committed to providing quality healthcare to the community, just minutes from home.