Bothwell Regional Health Center has again been designated a Level III Missouri Stroke Center by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) Unit.

Designations are granted after a thorough review by a survey team consisting of a Stroke Coordinator or Stroke Program Manager, one Emergency Medicine physician, one or two Neurologist(s)/Neuro-Interventionalist(s), all with experience in stroke, and one representative from the Department of Health and Senior Services.

Bothwell last received the designation in November 2019. As of June 2023, the health center is one of only 29 hospitals in Missouri to have the Level III Stroke Center designation.

“The survey team indicated we are doing a great job taking care of stroke patients,” said Lori Wightman, Bothwell CEO. “We were commended on our community involvement and the great ‘door in, door out’ times for those stroke patients we transfer to a tertiary stroke center."

Stroke is the sixth leading cause of death in Missouri. Signs of a stroke include loss of balance or dizziness, blurred vision, face drooping, arm or leg weakness, speech difficulty or a sudden, severe headache. People experiencing these symptoms should receive immediate emergency care.

“Some of these symptoms may present like common ailments but should not be ignored,” Wightman said. “Unfortunately, many stroke patients wait hours or days to receive care. Prompt care reduces damage to the brain and improves a patient’s outcome."

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The Missouri TCD system of care was created to address preventable causes of death for time-critical emergencies including stroke, trauma and STEMI (a form of a heart attack). The system’s foundation is rooted in evidence-based care and coordinates timely transition from pre-hospital response to the designated hospital that is verified to have the resources, capability and capacity to ensure the highest level of care. Bothwell is also a Level III ST-elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Center.

“I’m incredibly proud of our multidisciplinary team that created our response and care protocols and participated in this survey,” Wightman said. “Their important work has helped save lives.”

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