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University Health System receives stroke certification

(SAN ANTONIO - June 10, 2010)       When a life is in jeopardy because of a car crash or other serious injury, most people know the trauma care experts are at University Hospital, the lead Level I Trauma Center for Bexar County and all of South Texas. Now, following an extensive review process, University Hospital is also certified to provide a high level of expertise for stroke patients.

This certification means that the needed processes are in place at University Hospital to assure stroke patients are assessed and treated rapidly, around the clock, 365 days a year.  Similar to many types of traumatic injury, time is often a critical factor in determining how a stroke patient will recover. The Stroke Team at University Hospital, a partnership with The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, is immediately notified when a suspected stroke patient is en-route to the Emergency Center. 

But, that level of rapid response is just one of many stroke certification requirements. “It’s much more than the presence of people on call,” explains Nancy Ray, RN, University Health System chief nursing officer and associate administrator for University Hospital. “It’s adhering to a very strict set of standards and protocols.” 

Most of these protocols, including treatment with TPA, a strong clot-busting medication, require close monitoring by neurologists so Ray says involvement of the UT Health Science Center’s Department of Neurology was critical to achieving stroke certification. She credits Neurology Chair Dr. Robin Brey for making stroke care a priority and for serving as the physician champion for this important initiative. “Her leadership made all the difference.”


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