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Heart & Stroke

Stroke Center

Each year, more than 600 patients arrive in Meritus Medical Center's emergency department with signs and symptoms of stroke. Because "time is brain," stroke patients require rapid assessment, immediate intervention, and careful management involving physicians, nurses, laboratory, radiology technicians and rehabilitation therapists. Since 2007, Meritus Medical Center has been certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). The designation means that EMS will bring patients who are within a 30-minute drive and who have stroke symptoms to Meritus Medical Center rather than taking them to a closer, non-certified healthcare provider.

Meritus Medical Center's Stroke Center provides comprehensive care and treatment for the following conditions:

Ischemic Stroke

Hemorrhagic Stroke

Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA)

The hospital's stroke team evaluates stroke patients in the emergency department where rapid diagnostic testing includes CT (computed tomography) scans and lab tests. Meritus Medical Center partners with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Stroke Institute to provide patients suffering from acute stroke with immediate and expert care through stroke telemedicine.

Stroke telemedicine, or telestroke, is the use of high-quality video conferencing between a doctor and patient who are at different locations. This state-of-the-art program allows patients who arrive at the emergency department with stroke symptoms to be assessed by Meritus Medical Center's emergency physicians and nurses, but also by a vascular neurologist who specializes in stroke care.

For some ischemic stroke patients who meet strict criteria, a medication called recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is administered within the first three hours following the onset of a stroke symptoms. This clot-busting medication can dissolve the blood clot that is causing the stroke and stops the stroke in its tracks.

Stroke patients who are admitted from the emergency department are moved to the hospital's stroke unit where specially trained nurses care for them along with a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists and care managers. Patients and families receive education about stroke, medications, follow-up care, as well as a discharged plan that identifies supervision requirements, therapy needs and the ongoing management of stroke risk factors and stroke prevention.

11116 Medical Campus Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
TDD: 1-800-735-2258
meritus Health
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