April 23, 2009

Mercy Hospital Designated Certified Stroke Center

Mercy Hospital & Medical Center is pleased to announce that having met and exceeded rigorous guidelines for stroke care, it has been awarded accreditation as a certified stroke center by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), a hallmark of excellence in stroke care. As a certified stroke center, Mercy Hospital utilizes a specific Stroke treatment protocol, which is followed by a specially trained multidisciplinary staff. From the Emergency Room to rehabilitation and support, patients receive the most advanced treatment for stroke."Everybody--the medical staff, nurses, and residents -- is on board for treating stroke patients with the same urgency and advanced protocols as they would treat a patient who has had a heart attack," says Dr. Jeffery Kramer, Mercy's chief of Neurology and medical director of Mercy's Stroke program. "This is above the level of many other hospitals of our size, and even above that of many larger academic centers."

Pioneering Research
As a leader in stroke care, Mercy Hospital participates in numerous clinical studies including TPA, a clot-busting drug that can minimize the effects of stroke when administered within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. In 2005, Mercy was selected as the only institution in Chicago to conduct a FDA approved clinical trial involving Ancrod, a new, "clot-busting" medication which aides in the acute treatment of ischemic or clot-related stroke. This cutting edge medication uses a diluted amount of viper venom as a biological agent in order to thin the blood and break-up the clot. Current medications allow a three-hour window from the initial onset of stroke symptoms to successfully treat the clot; however, Ancrod provides a 6-hour window, widening the time span for patients to recognize the symptoms of stroke and get to the Emergency Room, decreasing the risk of permanent damage and disability.

About Mercy Hospital
As Chicago’s first hospital, Mercy Hospital has been caring for Chicago for more than 155 years. Committed to excellence and providing the best in quality health care, patients find world-class medicine with compassion, convenience and an undeniable spirit that sets it apart from other hospitals.  Home to one of the Nation’s leading Heart & Vascular Centers, Mercy Hospital was recently named one of the Nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® for cardiovascular care by Thompson Healthcare and designated a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care
® by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Also home to a certified Stroke Center, Comprehensive Breast & Women’s Health Care Center, NEW Center for Weight Management, and a state-of-the-art Emergency Center that includes the Higginbottom Urgent Care for Kids Unit, Mercy provides a comprehensive approach to healthcare for the entire family. Mercy’s ideal location, just minutes south of the loop, is easily accessible by all main arteries. And at Mercy, patients and visitors will find convenient, free parking.

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Mary Kate Brosnan
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