MLHS receives stroke hospital designation


by Mary Rains

Mille Lacs Health System

Mille Lacs Health System has received the Acute Stroke Ready Hospital designation from the MN Dept. of Health. The hospital was notified that it meets the criteria regarding standards, guidelines and best practices.

The Minnesota Stroke System committee commended the health system’s stroke code protocol, which are key components in providing safe and effective care to stroke patients.

MLHS uses state-of-the-art stroke diagnostic technology - through telemedicine to stroke specialists at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale - to confirm the diagnosis of stroke, and confirm the appropriateness of a “clot busting” medication which may  improve outcome.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is a leading cause of adult long-term disability. Younger people are also at risk for stroke, it’s not just an older adult issue. In many cases, children, teens, and young adults who experienced a stroke had significant increases in high blood pressure, lipid (cholesterol) disorders, diabetes, tobacco use, and obesity.

MLHS COO Kim Kucera said, “We are very fortunate that both our Ambulance and Emergency Department staff know how to recognize stroke early and can rapidly initiate the evaluation, treatment, and rapid transport when stroke symptoms present in patients. Being able to deal with stroke victims swiftly and competently serves an important need for both the Mille Lacs Community and visitors to our area.”

As with many medical emergencies, time is of the essence and people should be aware of the symptoms of stroke as many stroke treatments are time dependent. By waiting to see if symptoms improve, patients may not be eligible for specific treatment(s). The FAST acronym to remember is: Face  ̶  look for an uneven smile,  Arm  ̶  check if one arm is weak,  Speech – listen for slurred speech, Time  ̶  call 9-1-1 immediately.