MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center Among Few U.S. Hospitals Earning Prestigious Stroke Center Certification

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Hospital’s Ability to Save Lives and Lower Disabilities from Strokes is Recognized

MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills is one of only a few U.S. hospitals to earn the Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission, in collaboration with American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The hospital met rigorous standards for performing endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), a specialized procedure to remove a blood clot from the brain during an ischemic stroke.

“With recent advances in endovascular therapies for acute ischemic stroke, it’s important to recognize hospitals which can perform this critical intervention safely and effectively and we commend Saddleback Medical Center on this designation,” says Edward Jauch, M.D., chair, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Hospital Accreditation Stroke Subcommittee. “This certification helps prehospital providers better understand hospital stroke capabilities and assist in regional EMS triage of stroke patients so patients get to the right hospital for the right treatment.”

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. Over 87 percent of ischemic strokes are caused by a clot that cuts off blood flow to a part of the brain. These types of strokes are largely treatable if a patient gets to a hospital that can provide the right treatment in time.

Saddleback Medical Center was evaluated during an onsite review with requirements developed from experts on comprehensive stroke treatment and program management.

Strict guidelines to achieve certification include performing the procedure on a set number of patients and capabilities to perform the procedure 24/7. The hospital’s primary neurointerventionists—physicians routinely performing emergency mechanical thrombectomy—also must meet the highest standards of subspecialty training.

“The Joint Commission congratulates MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center on this significant achievement as a preferred location for transporting patients with suspected ischemic stroke,” says David Baker, M.D., executive vice president, Division of Health Care Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission. “Multiple studies have proven EVT treatment effective in saving lives and lowering disability from stroke.”

“This is a testament to our remarkable physicians, nurses and other clinical and support staff who provide exceptional, compassionate care to stroke patients and their families,” says Marcia Manker, CEO, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center. “We’re also proud to receive American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and appear on the Stroke Elite Plus Honor Role that recognize our commitment and success to ensuring stroke patients receive treatment that meets nationally accepted, evidence-based standards.