Stroke Gold Plus Award Presented to South Nassau Communities Hospital

In addition to the Get with the Guideline-Stroke award, South Nassau is a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care.

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Nassau County, NY - June 14th, 2013 - The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has awarded South Nassau Communities Hospital with a Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.  This is the second consecutive year that the award has been given to South Nassau, which recently earned The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers.

To earn the award, South Nassau achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals, and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.  These measures include appropriate and timely use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.    

“To fulfill our mission to meet the patients’ and communities’ needs for quality, patient-centered healthcare services, South Nassau must always be focused on performance improvement and raising our standards,” said Linda Efferen, M.D., chief medical officer.

In addition to the Get with  the Guideline-Stroke award, South Nassau is a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care.   To qualify for the honor roll, a minimum of 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients must have received tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time).

A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke.  If given intravenously in the first few hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.  Unfortunately, tPA therapy is not an option for patients who are having a hemorrhagic stroke (which is when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or bursts) or have one or more of the following conditions: bleeding ulcer, blood clotting problems, brain cancer, extremely high blood pressure, prior bleeding problems.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.  All of the major symptoms of stroke appear suddenly and without warning and they are often not painful.  The most common symptoms of stroke can be remembered by the acronym FAST:

F = Face: Is one side of the face drooping down?

A = Arm: Can the person raise both arms, or is one arm weak?

S = Speech: Is speech slurred or confusing?

T = Time: Time is critical!! Call 9-1-1 immediately!

Other less common symptoms of stroke are sudden trouble seeing, sudden dizziness, and generalized weakness.  If you or someone you are with is experiencing some or any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

South Nassau’s Emergency Services Department is designated a regional Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health.  Including highly skilled, board-certified physicians with expertise in treating stroke, the department provides:

•          Rapid assessment of patients with stroke symptoms

•          On-site new generation CT scanner that minimizes radiation exposure

•          Prompt treatment using advanced therapies and procedures

•          Comprehensive neurological and neurosurgical care throughout hospitalization

•          Nurses with special training in stroke care

•          Stroke support group

•          Community education

As southern Nassau’s only Trauma Level II  Center, the department has over 35 large independent treatment bays and specialty areas including Pediatrics and Behavioral Health as well as its own dedicated Digital Radiology suite for rapid access for testing and results.

South Nassau Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 435 beds, more than 1000 physicians and 3,000 employees.  Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services.  In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® Perfexion radiosurgery technologies.  South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons and is recognized as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.  For more information, visit