Hospital stresses stroke care |

Hospital stresses stroke care

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FRISCO ” As Summit County’s population continues to age, the cases of stroke will likely increase, doctors say.

In fact, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, affects four out of five families, and is the leading cause of adult disability. So, to help combat these statistics, St. Anthony Summit Medical Center recently received a $5,000 grant to participate in the Colorado Stroke Registry program, meaning they meet the national guidelines and have a standardized, effective approach for acute, emergency stroke care.

“It’s going to increase the quality of care for stroke patients,” Dr. Mark Norden, who is a hospitalist and does internal medicine, said about the grant.

Last year between 10 and 15 patients at the hospital suffered from stroke or mini stroke. And while it can happen at any age, stroke is most common with 60- to 80-year-olds, Norden said.

“When it does happen it can be real severe,” he added. “The more older people we get up here, we’ll get more of it.”

The grant will benefit performance improvement efforts for care and was received due to Amendment 35, Tobacco Tax Settlement for Health-Related Purposes.

Patricia Santos, RN, CNRN, and stroke and neurovascular coordinator for St. Anthony Central Hospital said, “What it really entails is rapid response and rapid treatment.”

Increased public awareness is also essential, she added. According to the American Stroke Association, 80 percent of all strokes are preventable by making healthy lifestyle choices.

However, when it is not prevented, providing immediate care may lessen the patient’s chance of sustaining severe disabilities or could save their life, doctors said. Also, the Summit Medical Center has a drug that breaks up clots that are blocking blood supply to the brain if it is administered within the first three hours of the onset of stroke.

Signs of stroke include weakness, facial droop on one side of the body, trouble speaking and slurred speech, Norden said.

Stroke patients receive initial and stabilizing care at the hospital and are then transferred to Denver, he said. The condition requires a neurologist, heart studies and doctors who specialize in speech and pathology ” resources that are not available here, he continued.

Keri Schroeder-Jaeger, director of neurosciences with St. Anthony Hospitals, said, “St. Anthony Summit Medical Center offers an advanced approach to neurovascular emergencies that addresses the need for immediate response and integrated care.”

Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at

Studies have shown that most strokes can be identified by asking three questions.

1. Ask the person to smile.

2. Ask them to raise both arms.

3. As them to speak a simple sentence.

If they have trouble with any of these tasks, call 911 immediately.

Source: St. Anthony Hospitals

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