John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital in North Phoenix has been recertified as a Primary Stroke Center by DNV Healthcare, an international certifying agency approved by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to hospital CEO John Harrington Jr.

“Deer Valley Hospital demonstrated that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients,” said Chief Medical Officer Mary Ann Turley, DO, who led the stroke certification task force.

“We received only the highest marks when the surveyors visited from DNV and awarded John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital recertification as a Primary Stroke Center,” Turley added. “I could not be more proud of our entire stroke certification team and hospital co-workers who all jumped at the opportunity to earn this recognition for our caregiving capability.”

Strokes are the third most prevalent cause of death, the leading cause of adult disability, and affect 700,000 Americans every year. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted by a blood clot (ischemic) or by bleeding from a burst blood vessel (hemorrhagic), either of which impairs the brain’s ability to function, but which require opposite treatments.

“Because diagnosing the cause is key to ensuring appropriate and effective care, it’s important for patients and families to insist that EMS providers take them to a Primary Stroke Center, said Turley.” A Primary Stroke Center is where staff is trained not only to recognize symptoms of stroke, but more importantly, to correctly identify the cause,” she explained.

When people have strokes, time is of the essence. Rapid medical treatment – started less than three hours after onset of symptoms and completed within 45 minutes of the patient’s arrival at the hospital – can save many stroke patients from a lifetime of disability.

“Time loss equals brain loss,” said Turley. “When stroke symptoms begin, people should call 9-1-1 without delay.”