ALBANY, N.Y., August 11, 2005 ¾ Albany Medical Center has been designated a Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health. This is the second such designation Albany Med’s Stroke Center has received this year, having been awarded Primary Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) in June 2005.
“The commitment of Albany Medical Center and our multidisciplinary approach to stroke treatment and intervention has allowed us to provide the most up-to-date technology and absolute best medical care for stroke patients throughout the Capital Region,” said Gary L. Bernardini, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the stroke and neurocritical care program at the Neurosciences Institute of Albany Med. “The Stroke Center designation from the New York State Department of Health, as well as the recent Joint Commission accreditation, confirms the quality of care we are able to provide for stroke patients.”
Albany Med’s stroke program offers more treatment modalities than any other stroke center in the region. The Medical Center recently became the first and only hospital in the region to offer stroke patients emergency treatment with a clot-retrieval device that enables specially trained neurosurgeons to literally pull the clots from the arteries of the brain. The device, known as the Mechanical Embolus Removal in Cerebral Ischemia or MERCI device, extends the time window in which a stroke patient can get treatment from 3 to 6 hours to 8 hours. The other primary technique for treating stokes patients—the administration of tissue plasminogen activation or tPA, a clot busting drug, is also available at the Medical Center.
The acute stroke team at Albany Medical Center is comprised of a multidisciplinary group that includes stroke neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, vascular surgeons, neuroendovascular interventionalists, rehabilitation specialists and neurology residents. The stroke team is available to respond for evaluation and treatment of stroke patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the emergency department and within the hospital’s fully monitored designated Lally Neurological Observation/Stroke Unit. The program treats more than 500 hospitalized patients per year.
The Department of Health has established State designated stroke centers to improve the standard and access to quality of care for patients with a presumptive diagnosis of stroke. Each year about 750,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, has a mission of providing excellence in medical education, biomedical research and patient care.