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Metro Health Participates in State-Wide Stroke Study

Metro Health Hospital is the only hospital in West Michigan to participate in a state-wide study to improve the quality of stroke care in Michigan.

The Wyoming, Michigan-based general acute care osteopathic teaching hospital, which is recognized as a stroke center, will receive a small grant for its participation in the five-year study. Metro Health joins the University of Michigan Health System, Henry Ford campuses in Detroit and Sparrow Health System in Lansing among the 23 Michigan hospitals that will participate in the study, which is being funded by the Michigan Department of Community Health in collaboration with the American Heart Association.

Participating hospitals in the Michigan Stroke Quality Improvement Program will report data on their stroke treatment procedures and results, including emergency medical transport, emergency department evaluation, in-hospital evaluation and treatment, and discharge information. Metro Health currently treats about 100 acute ischemic stroke patients per year.

"Metro Health is very pleased to participate in this important study, which really puts the diagnosis of stroke under the microscope in Michigan," said David Knapp, stroke center coordinator at Metro Health. "Participating hospitals will collect and share data, which will allow us to compare Metro to other hospitals in the state, exchange best practices and improve the overall care we provide to stroke patients.

"Stroke is the third most common cause of death in Michigan, cutting across all ages, races and gender. Michigan’s mortality rates are slightly higher than the national average. Participating in this program is a tremendous networking opportunity for Metro Health that will allow us to align ourselves with the best healthcare providers in the state for a common goal."

The goal of the study is to assist hospitals to provide "defect-free" care to stroke patients. Metro Health, as with other Michigan stroke centers, follow the American Heart Association’s "Get with the Guidelines" recommendations for treating stroke patients.

Knapp said that standard protocols in caring for stroke patients include:

  • Rapid evaluation and "clot-busting" drugs, as appropriate
  • Screening for swallowing problems
  • Being discharged from the hospital on cholesterol-reducing and aspirin-type medications
  • Stroke education
  • Smoking cessation counseling

Metro Health has received a one-year grant of $6,500 from the Michigan Department of Community Health. Funds received will be used for technical support, professional education and related support services.

In 2006, more than $2 billion was spend in Michigan on the treatment of strokes. Nationally, the number was $57.9 billion. While Kent and Ottawa counties had lower rates of strokes that led to death, Muskegon, Newaygo, Montcalm, Ionia and Allegan experienced middle rates and Barry County experienced some of the highest rates in the state.

Common risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, high cholesterol and diet. Warning signs for stroke include weakness or numbness, trouble speaking or slurred speech, difficulty seeing or walking, dizziness, loss of balance and severe headache.


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