One of the amazing programs that our exceptional leader, Julie Nix, oversees is Baptist Health’s stroke program. Initially organized in 2007, the program has had more than a decade’s worth of experience and growth, and the future promises even more rewards for the patients of Arkansas.
“Our goal is to provide exceptional care and outcomes to stroke patients,” Julie declared during our interview last week.
That goal is accomplished on a myriad of fronts. There is the prevention stage, which is crucial to a countless number of patients. In this case, the stroke program provides valuable education to local communities about the risks and warning signs of stroke. We want our communities to be able to recognize danger and seek immediate attention as soon as the signs are seen.
“If a patient is fortunate enough to arrive the hospital within the critical time frame, they often will not have long-term deficits from the stroke,” Julie continued.
Some of these patients, as well as patients who are either not candidates or did not arrive within the approved treatment window for an intervention, benefit from staying anywhere from a few days to a few weeks at our Baptist Health Rehabilitation Hospital.
There, patients are able to ease back into their lifestyle under the careful guidance and support from our health care teams. Our rehabilitation hospital is full of experienced officials that have seen the different circumstances strokes can bring, as approximately 50% of our annual inpatient admissions are patients with a stroke diagnosis.
In addition, we provide fantastic treatment and care for those have suffered acute strokes.
Patients arriving to BHMC-LR with an acute stroke within 3-4.5 hours of symptom onset can often receive a clot busting drug called t-PA, which can actually dissolve the clot, restore normal blood flow to the brain, and reverse damaging side effects caused by a stroke. Additionally, our neuro-interventional radiology department offers thrombectomy (using a catheter to actually go into the brain and remove or dissolve the clot) in some cases up to 24 hours from symptom onset.
All sides of the program work to provide the most optimal outcome for people suffering from strokes. As with any health issue, we work to help our patients through this incredibly trying time by lending our expertise and Christian compassion to get them on their feet in a safe and healthy manner. We are also proud to offer a monthly Stroke Support Group that enables stroke survivors and their loved ones to find much-needed help, because we understand that communication, empathy, and assistance are what really see us through trying times.
No matter what our patients may need, we at Baptist Health want them to have the healthiest life possible. If you’re interested in learning more about the Baptist Health stroke program, please visit our website today!