A stroke sometimes called a brain attack or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), affects the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bringing oxygen and nutrients to the brain bursts or is clogged by a blood clot or some other particle. Because of this rupture or blockage, part of the brain doesn’t get the flow of blood it needs. Deprived of oxygen, nerve cells can’t work either. The devastating effects of stroke are often permanent because dead brain cells aren’t replaced.
Symptoms of Stroke
B.E.F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. B.E.F.A.S.T. is:
- Balance – Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
- Eyes – Is there a sudden change in vision or trouble seeing?
- Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
- Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.
Initiatives to Improve Stroke Outcomes
Arkansas Stroke Registry
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) launched the Arkansas Stroke Registry (ASR) to collect patient data from hospitals treating Arkansans. This program allows ADH to partner with facilities to help track, measure, and optimize the quality of stroke care for all Arkansans. Click here for more information on the ASR program.
Acute Stroke Care Task Force (ASCTF)
The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas has long recognized the importance of improving stroke care in our state and approved Act 663 in 2005 to form the ASCTF.
Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospitals
To apply for initial designation as an ArSRH, complete this application and provide it to Lindsay.Sterling@arkansas.gov and David.Vrudny@arkansas.gov. Facilities designated as ArSRHs are capable of providing time-critical care to the stroke patient, including initial emergency evaluation, real-time stroke assessment, and treatment through telemedicine. Please click this link to access examples of the requested documentation as part of the ArSRH application.
Facilities designated as ArSRHs are capable of providing time-critical care to the stroke patient, including initial emergency evaluation, real-time stroke assessment, and treatment through telemedicine. EMS providers screen patients with standardized protocols to effectively recognize a stroke and make sure patients receive the right kind of care.
To apply for re-designation as an ArSRH, the re-designation application must be submitted within 60-90 days of the ArSRH expiration date. Once this application is complete (Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospital Application for Re-designation) provide it to Joanne.LaBelle@arkansas.gov.
Please click here to access a quality improvement support tool for Arkansas hospitals treating acute stroke patients. Facilities designated as Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospital (ArSRH) are required to meet minimum adherence rates for specific performance measures. As part of the improvement process, the initial decision focuses on the origin of lack of adherence. The reason for lack of adherence may be patient care-related, a documentation issue, or both. This document addresses both potential issues. The following documents are referenced in the Appendix:
Stroke Regional Contacts
- Stroke Protocol Example
- Time Targets
- DTN – Patient-Related Exclusions
- Stroke Team Presentation
- Concurrent Review Document
- BE FAST
- Applying Filters to GWTG-IRP
|ADH Stroke Program||Arkansas Department of Health
4815 W. Markham St., Mailing Slot 14
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205-3867