Primary Stroke Centers: History, Role and Key Elements

Primary Stroke Centers: History, Role and Key Elements

Strokes often occur suddenly and unexpectedly. This is a disease that affects the arteries that are in your brain and those leading to your brain. One gets a stroke when a blood vessel carrying nutrients and oxygen to the brain ruptures, bursts or gets blocked by a blood clot. This leads to the brain not getting sufficient nutrients and oxygen necessary for its optimal operation.

A primary stroke center is an Emergency Healthcare facility that has obtained the Primary Stroke Care Certification recognizing them as a facility that meets the required standards and has a good record basing on the outcomes of their stroke care.

There are numerous healthcare facilities in the United States with the Primary Stroke Center certification – Frontline ER being one of them.  These facilities earn this certification by being able to sufficiently demonstrate that it is capable of providing quality and reliable stroke care to its patients.

A Brief History behind Organized Stroke Care

The story behind organized stroke care in the United States dates to several years back. The idea came about when it was noted that the number of stroke-related hospitalization cases in the United States was close to 1 million every year. As a result, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored the initiative with the aim of improving stroke health in the country. Paul Coverdell Stroke Registry later joined in and, in 2001, they managed to implement the Acute Stroke Registry Program.

The last two decades have been characterized by tremendous growth in healthcare provision for patients with stroke. Many more initiatives were launched and even more, resources allocated to the course. Also, strides have been made with regards to policies and legislation to ensure that healthcare facilities like Frontline ER, provide the best care for patients who have suffered from a stroke.

The Role of a Primary Stroke Center

Based on how the concept came about, the main role of Primary Stroke Centers is to be able to stabilize patients with stroke and to provide emergency care for patients with acute stroke. The severity of each case is what determines whether the patient will be admitted to the healthcare facility or not.

Generally, the goals and the main benefits of having Primary Stroke Centers include:

Make treatment for stroke cases accessible to everyone

Improving patient care and its efficiency

Providing everyone with the latest and the most effective stroke therapies to ensure that the chances of them developing peristroke complications are reduced.

To be able to treat as many patients as possible and discharge them without compromising the quality of treatment offered.

Decrease the amount of time stroke patients have to stay in the hospital

The successful implementation of these goals ensures that the cost of running healthcare facilities is reduced, and, also, the health of patients who have had a stroke is improved.

Important Elements of Primary Stroke Centers

Acute Stroke Team

The Acute Stroke Team is a team of healthcare professionals who have the necessary training and experience in handling and treating acute stroke. The team should be available 24 hours every day to ensure that patient arriving at any time with stroke-related symptoms get treatment as fast as possible. Also, very Primary Stroke Center Should have a Stroke notification system to improve response to stroke cases.

Written Protocol

Having written protocols is one of the important elements necessary for good outcomes of stroke treatment. This protocol and guidelines should follow the national guidelines and Standards of Care.

An Emergency Department

This department should be specially equipped to handle stroke cases. The personnel needs to have the knowledge and training to be able to recognize, diagnose and treat all stroke types. The Emergency Department need to have a well-established communication and operations systems to ensure that it is running as efficiently as possible throughout the day.

A Stroke Unit

A stroke unit is a unit dedicated to serving patients suffering from cerebrovascular diseases. The unit needs to be well-equipped and with enough staff.


It is common for patients with acute stroke to have to undergo a neurosurgical procedure. This means that any Primary Stroke Center must be able to provide neurosurgical care to its patients at if necessary and within 2 hours of diagnosis. If there will be a need for patient transfer to another facility, then a clear protocol has to exist governing how the transfers are done.

Laboratory Services

Laboratory services are crucial in ensuring the necessary tests and results are available when required.

A Primary Stroke Center, also, needs to have hospital and administrative support to ensure that the Stroke Unit and the entire department is functioning smoothly, and educational programs that will ensure the staff is up-to-date with the latest development in stroke care.

Frontline ER is one of the Primary Stroke Centers in the United States. With a well-experienced and knowledgeable staff and a fully-equipped facility, people in Dallas, Texas can trust Frontline ER to provide them with the most effective stroke care and get them back to their normal lives.


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