LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) has achieved Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission and the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency. This designation signifies that AVH has the equipment, infrastructure, staff and training programs needed to quickly diagnose and treat patients presenting with acute stroke.
The Joint Commission performed an extensive on-site review and analysis of AVH’s compliance with specific standards and requirements that have been proven to result in better outcomes for stroke patients. The surveyors found the hospital met or exceeded all requirements.
Only hospitals with certified stroke centers are equipped to quickly treat stroke victims. Immediate diagnosis and treatment are vital to reducing a patient’s risk of long-term disability and death.
To effectively treat the most common type of stroke – ischemic stroke – doctors must administer an intravenous clot-dissolving medication within 4-1/2 hours from the onset of symptoms. AVH averages 45 minutes from the time a stroke patient arrives at the hospital until the drug is administered, significantly lower than the 60-minute goal set by the American Stroke Association.
“Quick response and accurate diagnosis require an extraordinary amount of teamwork and are essential to treating patients who are experiencing a stroke,” said Colleen Littlejohn, AVH’s stroke coordinator. “It is my privilege to work with such a dedicated team whose collaboration and expertise is evident in the care they provide every day. And now it is nice to see that validated through this high designation.”
AVH treats more than 500 cases of stroke a year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 800,000 people have a stroke in the U.S. each year. It is the nation’s leading cause of serious long-term disability and the fourth leading cause of death, claiming the lives of almost 130,000 Americans annually.
“This certification reflects the investments Antelope Valley Hospital has made in the equipment, facilities and training to ensure that stroke patients at our hospital receive exceptional care when they need it most,” said AVH Chief Executive Officer Dennis Knox. “Becoming an Advanced Primary Stroke Center is just one example of the great things happening at Antelope Valley Hospital as we continue to serve the community’s growing needs.”
Antelope Valley Hospital is a 420-bed district hospital located in the city of Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County. The hospital is a Level II trauma center and provides a full array of medical/surgical services, pediatric treatment, NICU, mental health, cancer care and more. More information is available at www.avhospital.org or by calling 661-949-5000.