COLUMBIA — Speed is key to diagnosing and treating stroke patients, and that happens to be an area in which University Hospital excels.
University Hospital has been named to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's 2011 Target: Stroke Honor Roll, which recognizes hospitals with "clot-busting medication" treatment times of fewer than 60 minutes for ischemic stroke patients, according to an MU Health Care news release.
University Hospital was one of 74 hospitals in the nation that were named to the list, and one of four in Missouri, according to the release. The other three hospitals in the state named to the Target: Stroke Honor Roll are Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, and CoxHealth in Springfield, according to the American Heart Association website.
Niranjan Singh, a neurologist and co-director of University Hospital's stroke program, said this recognition is very important for stroke victims coming to the hospital for treatment.
"Time is a key feature of this stroke treatment," Singh said. "Patients coming to the University Hospital will have the same time metrics as the other hospitals in Missouri and the U.S. on this list."
Singh said the hospital's times are the result of guidelines put in place to meet benchmarks to decrease overall treatment times. He said University Hospital staff tried to complete the treatment in 45 minutes, 15 minutes faster than the Target: Stroke standard. The hospital's guidelines might have produced the fastest treatment time in the U.S., he said.
"We had a patient that was treated in 22 minutes," Singh said. "We didn't come across another hospital that had that kind of time."
Singh said stroke patients are met by a team of members from different departments within University Hospital, including neurology, neurosurgery, physical therapy, cardiology and emergency services. The work of his co-director for the stroke program, Ashish Nanda, was a key complement to the treatment, he said.
"In order to identify, diagnose and treat the stroke patient quickly, we work together as a cohesive team once the patient arrives at the hospital," Nanda, a neurointerventionalist, said in the release.
University Hospital has also been certified as an advanced primary stroke center by the Joint Commission and has received the Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award developed by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, according to the release.