BANGOR — October 29 is World Stroke Day. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. Fast access to treatment saves lives and improves recovery. 

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, which was recently reaccredited by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, is pleased to announce it has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®– Stroke Gold Plus with Honor Roll Quality Achievement Award, as well as the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognizes the Medical Center for its continued success in using the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke, Target: StrokeSM and Target: Type 2 DiabetesSM programs.

“Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best possible chance of survival after a stroke,” said Interim Stroke Medical Director Tarek Wazzan, MD neurologist – stroke specialist. “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis to improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

Each year program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

“We are pleased to recognize Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of Neurology, director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get with The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

Warning signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden, severe, otherwise unexplainable headache
  • Sudden numbness of weakness in the face or limbs, often on only one side of the body
  • Sudden speech difficulties (speaking or understanding)
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden vision problems
  • Sudden dizziness or problems with balance, coordination, or walking

Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know experiences any of the warning signs.