It is important to continue learning about stroke symptoms and prevention as strokes are a leading cause of death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), someone in our country has a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies from a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
This is one reason our Springfield market decided to add a stroke coordinator position. Molly Karch joined our team in May of 2022. Since then, she has worked to ensure stroke information is available to those far and wide.
“I am a liaison for our clinical team, our patients and their families,” Molly explains. “I provide the support and the education in delivering excellent stroke care.”
Her role as stroke coordinator allows her to ensure that everyone at Mercy Health – Springfield is doing their job to provide and deliver top-of-the-line care to patients who are suffering from a stroke.
“As a stroke coordinator, I spend a lot of time looking at the database we have. It’s key to helping us keep track of not only our data, but also the goals we have set. It is able to help us ensure that we, as a team, are reaching our goals,” Molly says.
She continues, “I also collaborate with our local EMS partners. This collaboration is necessary in order to know each patient is receiving the best care possible – from the time they call 911 to the time they leave the hospital.”
Molly says her market data shows that stroke numbers are a problem that doesn’t appear to be getting better. In 2021 alone, our Springfield market responded to 693 stroke alerts. A stroke alert is classified as any time anyone comes to the hospital with numbness or tingling in the hands, or any overall stroke symptoms. This was a large increase from 2020, where Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center recorded just 396 stroke alerts.
As the numbers are increasing, it is important to know not only the leading causes of strokes, but also what to do when you think you may be experiencing a stroke. The quicker you are able to receive help, the higher chance you have at a complete recovery.
“Stroke treatment is extremely time-sensitive – it is important that our program maximizes efficiency so that the appropriate care can be delivered in the shortest time possible, while also ensuring we deliver the highest quality of care,” Molly shares. “The faster you can get into the hospital, the faster we can treat it and the fewer side effects you’ll have. Time is brain.”
The most important thing you can do is stay healthy before the stroke ever happens. Molly points out that 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Risk factors can include high blood pressure and high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and diabetes – so make going to your primary care provider annually a priority.
Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center is a Stroke GOLD PLUS achievement award winner – a distinction that recognizes a hospital’s commitment and success ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized and researched-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Our Springfield market also partners with Ohio State Medical Center to ensure a neurologist is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.