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Texas Health Fort Worth Retains Stroke Certification
06/15/2009

FORT WORTH, Texas — Pauline Patino, a retired homemaker, woke up one morning to find that she was experiencing left side paralysis. She immediately called 911. The race against the clock saved her life.

Within 17 minutes of calling the paramedics, Patino arrived at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. It took physicians only a few minutes to complete an assessment and diagnose her with a stroke.

In less than 45 minutes, Patino was given tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), a medicine administered to patients who present to the hospital within the first three hours of having a stroke. Two hours later, her paralysis was gone.

“Time is so important when treating a stroke,” said Robert Gullinese, M.D., emergency physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Fort Worth. “Patino had an excellent outcome because she identified a change in her health and sought medical attention immediately.”

Many patients are in denial or don’t recognize they are having a stroke. Patients exhibiting signs and symptoms of a stroke will have the best outcome if they seek help immediately and can receive medical attention within the first three to six hours of symptom onset.

Signs and symptoms must be caught FAST:

  • F – Facial Droop. When the individual smiles, does one side of their face droop?
  • A – Arm Drift. When the individual raises both arms, does one arm drift downward?
  • S – Slurred Speech. When the individual repeats a sentence, are any of the words slurred?
  • T – Time is Key. If a person shows any of the above symptoms, call 911.

Joint Commission Accredited Stroke Center
Patients like Patino are cared for by one of the top stroke centers in North Texas. Texas Health Fort Worth was the first hospital to receive certification as a primary stroke center certification. The hospital was recently received re-certification with commendation in stroke care from the Joint Commission.

“Stroke patients can be certain that they will receive high quality care and leading-edge stroke intervention when they come to Texas Health Fort Worth,” said Lillie Biggins, vice president of operations. “Our clinical team and physicians on the medical staff are dedicated and committed to providing this community with immediate options for stroke treatment.”

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 724-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/FortWorth.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. The system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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