Lakewood Ranch Medical Center’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. “We are proud to offer a more comprehensive level of care for stroke patients,” says Ralph Gonzalez, MD, Medical Director of The Stroke and Cerebrovascular Centers at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Manatee Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Gonzalez states a stroke is a medical emergency and it’s important to recognize the symptoms. “We’ve had increasing numbers of patients coming in who know they’re having a stroke, which is good. But we can save more lives by raising awareness of stroke symptoms and making sure people call 9-1-1 at the first sign of a stroke,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “The quicker the treatment, the lower the risk of loss of function.”
“The biggest impediment in stroke care is getting the patient to the hospital,” says System Stroke Coordinator Christine Gonzalez, RN, CNRN. “When someone calls 9-1-1, the paramedics respond and alert the hospital that a stroke patient is en route so treatment can begin as soon as they arrive,” she says.
Dr. Gonzalez explains that the American Heart Association states 80 percent of strokes are preventable by eliminating risk factors and increasing awareness. “High blood pressure, smoking and having diabetes increase your risk for having a stroke. If you smoke, you should stop. If you have these conditions, work with your doctor to keep them under control.”
If you aren’t familiar with stroke symptoms, Christine recommends learning them. “You could save your life or someone else’s by getting help right away,” she says.
Contact Us for Stroke Care at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center
For more information about Lakewood Ranch Medical Center’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center, call System Stroke Coordinator Christine Gonzalez, RN, CNRN, at 941-782-2318.