POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Health has designated Five Rivers Medical Center in Pocahontas as being "Stroke Ready".
The designation shows the hospital is able to give "appropriate care to stroke patients."
Five Rivers, which is located in Pocahontas, is one of 11 Stroke Ready Hospitals across the state of Arkansas, according to the Department of Health.
"With stroke, every second counts. Each hour of delay in stroke treatment ages the brain close to 4 years and increases the chances of permanent disability," said Appathurai Balamurugan, MD, DrPH, State Chronic Disease Director and Medical Director for the ADH Chronic Disease Branch. "The ArSRH designation ensures that stroke patients make it to the closest appropriate hospital when they dial 911."
According to a news release, recent data shows Arkansas has the fifth highest stroke death rate in the country.
"Hospitals recognized with the ArSRH designation partner with local EMS to improve outcomes by helping ensure stroke patients are rapidly transported to the most appropriate hospital. EMS providers screen patients with standardized protocols to effectively recognize stroke and make sure patients receive the right kind of care," the news release said.
When it comes to stroke, remember the acronym B.E.F.A.S.T. to recognize the symptoms and know what to do.
- B – Balance: Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
- E – Eyes: Is there a sudden change in vision or trouble seeing?
- F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?
- A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb?
- S – Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand?
- T – Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
Other Stroke Ready Hospitals in Arkansas are located in Clark, Cleburne, Hot Spring, Arkansas, Drew, Union, Logan, Franklin, and Scott counties.