LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Comanche County Memorial Hospital is now a primary stroke center after being certified early September 2016.
The National Stroke Association estimates that each year more than 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. This certification will help CCMH better treat the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
"It's important to have because stoke is an under-treated and under-diagnosed illness in the United States. Many people are under the impression that there aren't effective treatments for it and there are effective treatments. So by expediting their arrival here in the emergency department in the hospital, and actively treating them aggressively they'll have the best possible outcome," said osteopathic physician and assistant medical doctor Damien Kinzler.
This certification came after hours of training and more than 18 months meeting the certification requirements given by the American Heart Association in coordination with the joint commission of hospitals accreditation. The hospital has set a goal to treat ideal stroke patient within 60 minutes. They have a clock on the wall in every trauma room to let them know how long it's been. Hospital officials say right now their lowest time is 22 minutes but they're always trying to get that number lower.
"Time is brain. Every second, every minute it counts. Lots of neurons are dying and we want to be able to have that patient come in that is affected by a stroke with their different symptoms and be able to let them leave our hospital improved and be able to go home and be with their families and live out their life that they were living prior to having these symptoms," said Alicia Webster, STEMI Coordinator.
Webster says the certification is not only good for the hospital, but for the community as well.
"For the hospital to have this, I think that it shows our continued improvement and our focus on quality health care and that's something that's huge. I mean, we all go into this business wanting to make a difference in our patients lives and that's what we're doing," said Webster.
"The patients have much better outcomes at the end of the day it's all about the patient," said Kinzler.
Officials say they will keep encourage each other to get stroke patients treated within 60 minutes or in the fastest time possible.