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UPMC Hamot Receives Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

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Karen Beardsley
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ERIE, Pa.UPMC Hamot has received certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, reflecting the highest level of competence for treatment of serious stroke events. UPMC Hamot is the first and only hospital in the area to receive comprehensive certification, and among five percent of hospitals nationally.

“This is another first for UPMC Hamot, and we’re very proud of this certification. With stroke care, you must have the best clinicians and resources, but also the ability to act organizationally with extreme efficiency because of the time-critical nature of these events,” said Lynn Rupp, vice president of operations. “This certification validates all the effort our team has put into this program and to ensuring the health and safety of our patients.”

The DNV GL - Healthcare Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification is based on standards set forth by the American Stroke Association (ASA) and the Brain Attack Coalition, and affirms that UPMC Hamot addresses the full spectrum of stroke care – diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education – and establishes clear metrics to evaluate outcomes.

“Achieving certification shows our commitment to excellence,” said Charles Romero, M.D., UPMC Hamot stroke medical director. “Our multidisciplinary team of experts is dedicated to providing the best and most advanced therapies to treat stroke 24/7, with the goal of restoring cognitive and physical function.”

Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes hospitals that have significant resources in training, infrastructure and staff to provide state-of-the-art complex stroke care. Centers that receive the designation are required to have advanced imaging capabilities, provide neuro-critical care 24 hours a day/seven days per week, conduct clinical research, care for patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage, and perform endovascular coiling or surgical clipping procedures for aneurysm.

According to the ASA, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

“Nearly two million brain cells die each minute a stroke goes untreated,” Romero noted. “Survival and recovery from the disabling symptoms of stroke improve significantly with early treatment and restoration of blood flow to the brain. For every hour’s delay in medical treatment, the chances of good outcome and recovery decline significantly. Therefore, it is critical that treatment start as soon as possible.”