Stroke care provided at four Abrazo hospitals has been recognized with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Quality Achievement and Target: Stroke awards. 

Stroke is the fifth cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Abrazo Arrowhead Campus and Abrazo Central Campus received Stroke Gold Plus with Honor Roll Elite Plus awards, Abrazo West Campus received Stroke Gold Plus with Honor Roll Elite awards, and Abrazo Scottsdale Campus received Stroke Silver Plus with Honor Roll awards.

“Abrazo Health is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Ed Staren, chief administrative officer for Abrazo Central and Scottsdale campuses. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.” 

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when something blocks blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death, according to the CDC website.

If something happens to block the flow of blood, brain cells start to die within minutes because they can’t get oxygen and causes a stroke. There are two types of stroke:

• Ischemic stroke occurs when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels to the brain. Fatty deposits called plaque can also cause blockages by building up in the blood vessels.

• Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. Blood builds up and damages surrounding brain tissue. 

Abrazo Arrowhead, Central, Scottsdale and West campuses are primary stroke centers. Each qualified for recognition on the Target: Honor Roll for meeting quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. Abrazo Central Campus also is the first hospital in Arizona to earn Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission. 

“Abrazo West Campus is dedicated to providing quality care for residents of our communities,” added hospital Chief Executive Officer Christina Oh. “This recognition acknowledges the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.”