Tri-State Memorial Hospital Earns Cardiac and Stroke Center Distinction
Tri-State Memorial Hospital has earned a Level II Cardiac Center and a Level II Stroke Center designation from the Washington State Department of Health as part of the new Emergency Cardiac and Stroke System (ECS System). A new state law has created this system with the intent to help prevent deaths, disability and nursing home placements due to heart attack, cardiac arrest and stroke by getting patients to the right place in the right amount of time.
Under this new law, the ECS System identifies hospitals (such as Tri-State Memorial Hospital) who meet specific cardiac and stroke facility requirements, and puts procedures in place for emergency medical services (EMS) to take patients directly to these hospitals, where a team will be waiting. Timely treatment can mean the difference between returning to work or becoming permanently disabled, living at home or living in a nursing home. It can mean the difference between life and death. The ECS System will significantly reduce time to treatment and improve outcomes, meaning fewer deaths and less disability.
“This distinction by the State of Washington affirms that the correct protocols are in place and that the personnel involved in caring for these types of patients are very committed to ensuring we deliver the best care possible for them. The team of physicians, nurses, technicians and support staff all work collaboratively to reach and exceed the standards set by the State,” said Don Wee, CEO at Tri-State Memorial Hospital. “We are proud of the distinction of meeting the criteria to participate in this system as it is a great asset to our community.”
Very few people in Washington get early treatment for heart attacks and strokes to help prevent death and disability. Why? Most people don’t call 9-1-1 when they are having a heart attack or stroke. A person’s chances of surviving a heart attack or stroke are increased if emergency treatment is given to the victim as soon as possible. It is important to recognize these signs and to act immediately by calling 9-1-1.
Stroke Signs and Symptoms
Stroke can affect your senses, speech, behavior, thoughts, memory, and emotions. One side of your body may become paralyzed or weak.
The five most common signs and symptoms of stroke are:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg.
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Signs of a stroke always come on suddenly. If your symptoms go away after a few minutes, you may have had a “mini-stroke,” also called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). TIAs do not cause permanent damage but can be a warning sign of a full stroke—you should still get help immediately.
Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms
If the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off, a heart attack can result. Cells in the heart muscle do not receive enough oxygen and begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart. Having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, smoking, and having had a previous heart attack, stroke, or diabetes can increase a person’s chances of having a heart attack.
The five major symptoms of a heart attack are—
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint.
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder.
- Shortness of breath.
If you think that you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms you should call 9-1-1 immediately. Every minute counts!