Getting the Right Care

North Carolina takes step towards comprehensive stroke system of care




Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting nearly 800,000 people each year. Timely access to lifesaving treatments and rehabilitation are critical to improve outcomes for patients.

Beginning this February, North Carolina will formally recognize all three levels of stroke care hospitals. The three tiers recognized by the state will include Acute Stroke Ready Centers, Primary Stroke Centers and Comprehensive Stroke Centers. This three-tiered system of designated stroke facilities in North Carolina is an essential component in building an efficient, integrated, statewide system of care in the treatment of stroke patients.

Additionally, North Carolina emergency medical services (EMS) providers will be required to update their stroke treatment and transport protocols to ensure that possible stroke patients are identified in the field and transported to certified hospitals accordingly.

As a result of these new regulations, patients who experience strokes anywhere in the state will receive the highest level of care available in their area, whether they are in downtown Raleigh, rural Johnston County, or on the side of a freeway anywhere in between.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association commends North Carolina for working to improve systems of care for stroke patients. The association’s staff and volunteers have been leading advocates for a stroke comprehensive system of care in North Carolina for many years.

"Six years ago, I lost my dear husband and our Insurance Commissioner Jim Long to a severe stroke. I know what it means to lose someone you love in such a sudden and tragic way, but we were fortunate because when Jim’s stroke occurred, we knew what to do and where to go. Everyone in our state needs to have this knowledge," said AHA/ASA volunteer Peg O’Connell. "It has been a journey in North Carolina to build strong stroke systems of care. Many people have come together to ensure that all North Carolinians, regardless of location can access quality acute stroke care and I was proud to be part of that effort. These rules are a critical part of our state’s stroke system of care and inform both EMS and the public where stroke centers are located in the state."

The recent regulations passed by the North Carolina Rules Review Commission make North Carolina the second state in the country to recognize all three tiers of stroke centers and the first state in the country to formally recognize the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association as a national accrediting body.

Learn more about comprehensive stroke systems of care and how you can become an advocate in your state at yourethecure.org.

Stroke Survivor Rick Dunlap tells how coordinated care and treatment made a difference for him. Video courtesy of Carolinas HealthCare System.

 

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Stroke Rehabilitation Two-Part Series

Making the Best Decisions at Discharge After Stroke

The type of rehabilitation and support systems a survivor receives at discharge can strongly influence health outcomes and recovery. In this, the first part of a two-part series on stroke rehab, we offer guidance for the decision-making process required when it’s time to leave the hospital.

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

Following a stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type rehabilitation. In this second of our two-art series, we want to alleviate some of the mystery, fear and anxiety around the inpatient rehab part of the stroke recovery journey.
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AHA-ASA Resources

The Support Network

When faced with challenges recovering from heart disease or stroke, it’s important to have emotional support. That is why we created a network to connect patients and loved ones with others during their journey.

Stroke Family Warmline

The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with an ASA team member who can provide support, helpful information or just a listening ear.

Let's Talk About Stroke Patient Information Sheets

Let's Talk About Stroke is a series of downloadable patient information sheets, created by the American Stroke Association, that presents information in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read.

Request Free Stroke Information Packets

Fill out this online form to request free information about a variety of post-stroke topics.

Caregiver Guide to Stroke

The Caregiver Guide to Stroke is meant to help caregivers better navigate the recovery process and the financial and social implications of a stroke.

Tips for Daily Living Library

This volunteer-powered library gathers tips and ideas from stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals all over the country who’ve created or discovered adaptive and often innovative ways to get things done!

Stroke Support Group Finder

To find a group near you, simply enter your ZIP code and a mile radius. If your initial search does not pull up any groups, try
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Stroke & Parts of the Brain

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe has several functions, mainly involved with memory, perception and language.

When Stroke Affects the Brain Stem

The brain stem serves as a bridge in the nervous system. It sits at the top of the spinal column in the center of the brain. When a stroke happens there, it can cause a few different deficits and, in the most severe cases, can lead to locked-in syndrome.

When Stroke Affects the Thalamus

The thalamus can be thought of as a "relay station," receiving signals from the brain’s outer regions (cerebral cortex), interpreting them, then sending them to other areas of the brain to complete their job.
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Departments

Stroke Notes

Stroke-related news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Readers Room

Articles, poems and art submitted by stroke survivors and their loved ones.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These stroke survivors, caregivers and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Everyday Survival

Practical tips and advice for day-to day living after stroke.

Life At The Curb

A unique perspective on survival by comedian and stroke survivor John Kawie.

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.

Support Showcase

Our new department highlighting the good work being done by stroke support groups from around the nation. If you are part of a successful support group we should consider featuring, let us know!