Hannibal Regional Hospital has been named a Level III Stroke Center. This Missouri Stroke Center Designation status was granted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as a component of the Time Critical Diagnosis System throughout the state.

“Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death, and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. As a Level III Stroke Center, Hannibal Regional Hospital is now designated as a referral center staffed and equipped to provide prompt assessment and appropriate emergency intervention. If a patient meets specific criteria, physicians at a Level III Stroke Center can initiate lytic therapy, also known as “clot busters” and initiate timely transfer to a higher level of care if needed. Lytic medications may help to restore blood flow to the brain, halting damage and restoring function”, says, Dr. Brett Hosley, Stroke Center Medical Director.

Missouri has designated 43 Stroke Centers, the newest component of the Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) System, throughout the state. The state-wide Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) System brings together the 911 response system, ambulance services and hospitals in a coordinated way to provide patients the right care, at the right place, in the right amount of time. With designated Stroke Centers in place, individuals suffering a stroke will receive quicker response times that may lead to improved survival and recovery rates.

Designations are granted after a thorough review by a survey team consisting of a Stroke Coordinator or Stroke Program Manager, one Emergency Medicine physician, one or two Neurologist(s)/Neuro-Interventionalist(s,) all with experience in stroke, and one representative from the Department of Health and Senior Services. The designation is valid for four years.

Dr. Thelma Peery, Hannibal Regional Hospital Emergency Services Medical Director, adds, “This is an exciting time for HRH, as we strive to bring state of the art care to our region. The community can be assured we are not only meeting but exceeding the state’s requirements to provide stroke care to our patients.”

When a stroke strikes, think FAST! By thinking F.A.S.T., you can recognize the warning signs of a stroke:

● Face numbness or weakness, especially on one side
● Arm numbness or weakness, especially only on one side of the body
● Speech slurred or difficulty speaking, understanding or sudden confusion
● Time to call 911 -- especially if there is a sudden loss of vision, loss of balance with dizziness or severe headache

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Every minute counts. Immediately call 911 so dispatchers can send trained emergency medical professionals to begin assessment and pre-hospital care. They will transport the patient and coordinate with the hospital so there are no delays when the patient arrives.

Hannibal Regional Hospital is a 91 – bed acute care hospital providing community healthcare to more than 125,000 residents in the tri-state area. As a not-for-profit community owned and locally governed hospital, Hannibal Regional Hospital continues to focus its efforts on meeting the health and wellness needs of those currently being served as well as those of future generations. Hannibal Regional Hospital has been recognized by the Healthgrades organization as a 2013 and 2014 Outstanding Patient Experience Award recipient – ranking HRH among the top 10% of hospitals in the nation for patient care. In addition to the Outstanding Patient Experience Award, HRH has also earned several orthopedic services-related accolades from Healthgrades including being a recipient of the 2014 Healthgrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award ™.

Contributed by Hannibal Regional Hospital