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PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend's Comprehensive Stroke Center receives national recognition

| Service Line | News

2020 American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines  Gold Plus Award badge

(Springfield, Ore.)— PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend has once again received national recognition for its success and commitment to providing excellent care for stroke patients, according to nationally recognized, evidence-based practice guidelines.

This year marks the ninth consecutive year the RiverBend stroke team has earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, and the fourth year of recognition among those listed on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite.

These dual awards come after a significant accomplishment earlier this year. RiverBend earned Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) GL-Healthcare--the highest level of certification a stroke center can achieve. RiverBend is the only stroke center with this certification between Sacramento and Portland. This is a significant accomplishment demonstrating that RiverBend has met an array of stringent criteria and completed a rigorous onsite assessment. RiverBend’s Stroke Team addresses the full spectrum of stroke-care diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, education, and has established clear metrics to evaluate outcomes.

“We are honored to be recognized by these awards and with Comprehensive Stroke Center certification,” said Dr. Elaine Skalabrin, Stroke Medical Director at Sacred Heart at RiverBend. “Our specialists are trained and equipped to treat even the most complex strokes—at any time. Our communities can count on us as a progressive, high-volume stroke center that provides state-of-the-art stroke care, including advanced endovascular approaches (catheter-based clot retrieval). We are proud to offer the highest quality of stroke care closer to home for patients in Lane County and throughout the region.”

To receive the Gold Plus award, Sacred Heart at RiverBend achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all required achievement measures and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with all 10 quality measures. These measures include aggressive use of medications aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

To qualify for the Honor Roll Elite designation, RiverBend met specific quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment. Current treatments for ischemic strokes include intravenous alteplase (t-PA) and clot retrieval or thrombectomy procedures for the large arteries of the brain. The clot-buster agent alteplase (t-PA) is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, alteplase (t-PA), has been shown to significantly reduce physical deficits caused by stroke and decrease long-term disability. Emergency thrombectomy is the physical removal of clots from the largest cerebral and carotid arteries causing stroke symptoms.

Eighty-five percent of strokes are ischemic and occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to part of the brain. The brain cells in the immediate area begin to die from lack of oxygen and nutrients. Quickly treating ischemic stroke patients with alteplase (t-PA) and emergency thrombectomy offers the patient the best opportunity for a positive outcome.    

Each year, nearly 795,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke. Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. On average, someone suffers a stroke in the U.S. every 40 seconds. In 2019, the stroke team at RiverBend’s Comprehensive Stroke Center treated 1,000 strokes in the local and regional area.

For more information about Sacred Heart at RiverBend’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, visit this website


Stroke Symptoms

Stroke is an emergency and individuals experiencing it may not even be aware of their symptoms.

Stroke symptoms happen SUDDENLY!

Use the BEFAST acronym to recognize the signs of stroke and get help fast!

  • Balance changes
  • Eyesight changes
  • Facial drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech changes
  • Time to call 911 if any one of the above occurs