DHR Health among elite group focused on highly-specialized stroke cases

Edinburg, TX— Marking the one year anniversary of being designated as the region’s first Joint Commission Certified Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, DHR Health remains proud to offer patients in the Rio Grande Valley the highest level of specialized care.  

DHR Health is the first hospital south of San Antonio to achieve this certification and has also received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers. 

A Level I Comprehensive Stroke Center, DHR Health joins an elite group of hospitals that can provide highly-specialized stroke care. There are currently 33 hospitals across Texas designated as a Level I Comprehensive Stroke Center.   

To be designated as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, hospitals must demonstrate 24/7 availability of specialists such as neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists, intensivists, and neurologists. A Comprehensive Stroke Center has to adhere to rigorous clinical protocols, perform high volumes of procedures and demonstrate excellent clinical outcomes. The designation also requires a demonstrated commitment to stroke-related research.

During the first year of certification, DHR Health was awarded the American Stroke Association Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Stroke Award and Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Award. This award recognizes a hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

In 2019 the DHR Comprehensive Stroke Center administered over 70 cases of Alteplase with zero hemorrhagic bleed complications despite the national average being approximately 6 percent.     

Additionally, DHR Health unveiled its 12-bed neuroscience step-down unit in January 2020, expanding access to the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit. The unit was renovated to provide additional access to world-class neurological expertise at DHR Health. This new neuroscience unit has cardiac monitoring and state-of-the-art EEG monitoring equipment as well as an epilepsy monitoring room for pediatric patients within the pediatric intensive care unit. The unit will provide care to neurology, neurosurgery and epilepsy patients.

“DHR Health is committed to excelling in quality patient care for all neurological conditions including stroke and spine care. There is no need for patients to leave the Rio Grande Valley when they can get the care they need right here at home”, states Juan Padilla, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.N.S., DHR Health’s chief of neuroscience. 

DHR Health’s Neuroscience Institute provides care for patients affected by a stroke, epilepsy, movement disorders, brain and spine injuries as well as other neurological issues. It has a dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit with advanced monitoring and EEG capabilities in each patient room. Within the institute, the Comprehensive Stroke Center provides multidisciplinary care, including neurology, neurosurgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy as well as case management. 

Providing true comprehensive neurologic care, the DHR Health Neuroscience Institute is also home to the region’s only BlueCross BlueShield of Texas Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery with care provided by the regions’ only fellowship-trained spine surgeons; Dr. Achal Patel and Dr. Jaime Villarreal. Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery demonstrate expertise in cervical and lumbar fusion, cervical laminectomy and lumbar laminectomy/discectomy procedures, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions compared to other hospitals. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation to be designated.   

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Last year less than 35% of stroke patients arrived at DHR within the recommended treatment timeframe, so. 

DHR Health focuses strong efforts on educating the community on the signs and symptoms of a stroke and when to call 911. To do this, they consistently raise awareness of the acronym F.A.S.T: 

F – face drooping

A – arm weakness

S – speech difficulty

T – time to call 911 

To learn more about the Comprehensive Stroke Center at DHR Health, call the DHR Health Neuroscience Institute at (956) 362-8500.

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DHR Health among elite group focused on highly-specialized stroke cases