Tampa General Hospital Among the Elite Stroke Centers in the Country

Published: Dec 8, 2014
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TAMPA, FL (Dec. 8, 2014) – Tampa General Hospital is the first hospital on the west coast of Florida to be awarded Comprehensive Stroke Certification , the highest national designation, from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, a national certification organization recognized by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This elite designation means the hospital meets the highest standards for safety and quality and can treat patients 24 hours a day with the most complex stroke care. “This provides an external validation for what we’ve known for a long time,” said Dr. W. Scott Burgin, director of Tampa General’s Comprehensive Stroke Center and professor of Neurology and chief of the Cerebrovascular Division at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “We are providing the highest level of care for our patients at Tampa General.” Tampa General is the fourth hospital in the state to receive this national designation for its stroke program. It also is one of 34 Florida hospitals designated as a state Comprehensive Stroke Center, and one of 124 that the Joint Commission certifies as a Primary Stroke Center. Tampa General earned national designation by meeting 21 evidence-based measures of complex stroke care. Continuous on-site neurosurgeons, neurologists, diagnostic radiologists and medical teams trained in neurocritical care are ready to treat emergencies immediately with highly trained and qualified nursing staff. Studies show that stroke patients have better outcomes when these standards are met. “This certification signifies that Tampa General Hospital has demonstrated and is clearly committed to advancing stroke treatment through innovation and best practice - placing them amongst world leaders,” said Michael Zarski, chief executive officer of HFAP. “Hospitals that have established stroke centers have demonstrated improved treatment, better patient outcomes, and reduced costs. In addition, Comprehensive Stroke centers are a resource to both the community and neighboring hospitals who are not equipped to offer the same level of care.” Strokes occur when blood flow is disrupted in the brain. A clot can block a blood vessel, or bleeding can occur. If brain cells can’t receive blood and oxygen, they start to die, causing permanent damage. About 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year, making stroke the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. A stroke requires immediate emergency treatment and every minute counts. You can use the “FAST” acronym to recognize warning signs of a stroke: “Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911.”