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Format: 04/25/2014
Format: 04/25/2014


Forbes Regional Hospital Awarded Joint Commission Certification as Primary Stroke Center

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Forbes Hospital Awarded Joint Commission Certification as Primary Stroke Center

Monroeville, PA (October 6, 2010) – Forbes Hospital has been awarded certification as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers established by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s guidelines for stroke care and is granted to hospitals that are capable of providing the most advanced and effective treatment for patients who suffer from stroke.

“I am delighted that the hard work of the medical staff, employees and administration of Forbes Hospital has been recognized by the Joint Commission,” said Forbes Stroke Center Medical Director Seth Lichtenstein, MD. “Many people have worked diligently to make Forbes a place where stroke care is a state-of-the-art process.”

Each year, approximately 795,000 people in the United States experience a new or recurrent stroke. The disease is the nation’s third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. It is also the number one cause of serious, long-term disability.

Strokes are classified as either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes account for 87 percent of strokes in the United States and are caused by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain. Less common, hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain.

The Joint Commission evaluated the Stroke Center at Forbes during an on-site survey in September, 2010. To earn certification, several aspects of the program, such as having a standardized protocol for stroke care; access to a stroke neurologist 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and standardized patient education, were evaluated.

According to the Joint Commission, the best possible stroke patient outcomes are experienced at hospitals that offer timely access to proven medical therapy. The gold standard is administration of blood thinning medication within a three hour window from the time of a stroke’s onset. In order to optimize patient outcomes, Forbes also partners with local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to ensure early notification and activation of the hospital’s neuro team.

The Joint Commission’s survey showed that within 60 minutes of entering Forbes, eligible patients identified as suffering from an ischemic stroke are treated with an intravenous clot-busting drug called Tissue Plasminogen Activator, or tPA.

In cases of stroke, Dr. Lichtenstein said, delay in treatment can lead to further and potentially irreversible brain injury.

“This certification as a Primary Stroke Center will allow us to treat people who in the past would have been transported to more distant hospitals for clot-busting medicines, giving stroke patients a better chance for recovery while being evaluated and treated in an environment closer to home,” he said.

The Stroke Center at Forbes is also committed to providing the full spectrum of resources for patients recovering from stroke. A comprehensive team of occupational, physical and speech therapists see every stroke patient prior to discharge. Patients in need of more extensive rehabilitation can be treated at Forbes’ inpatient rehabilitation unit rather than being transported to another facility.

The development of Forbes’ Stroke Center is another example of the hospital’s commitment to bringing advanced medical care to the Eastern Suburbs, said Michele Flatt, the Center’s Administrative Director.

“Our goal at Forbes is to provide the highest level of care possible to our stroke patients. Certification as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission reflects that commitment and ensures our stroke patients can be exceptionally cared for in their own community surrounded by family and friends.”

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