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Fairfield Memorial Hospital named Stroke Ready Hospital

Pictured are Fairfield Memorial Hospital Emergency Team Members, Tracy Taylor, RN, Chief Nurse Executive; Michelle O’Neill, M.D., Chief of Emergency Medicine; and Michelle Little, RN, Emergency Department Nurse Manager.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Katherine Bunting-Williams, Ph.D., announced today that Fairfield Memorial Hospital has received a certificate of their redesignation as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital as of January 31, 2018 by the Illinois Department of Public Health.  An Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital or ASRH is a hospital that has been designated by the Department as meeting the criteria for providing emergent stroke care.  Designation may be provided after a hospital has been certified or through application and designation as an Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital.


In order to become designated as an ASRH, Fairfield Memorial Hospital was required to submit data to the state to indicate their ability to treat stroke patients according to the National Standards of Care.


“As a leader in rural health, this designation means that we are exceeding the requirements set by the Illinois Department of Public Health in order to be considered an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.  We provide stroke victims immediate initial care, rather than a delay in treatment if they had to travel to facilities farther away for initial care.  Chances of survival and reduction of functional deficits are better if the stroke is identified and treated immediately, as with a stroke, time lost is brain lost.  Therefore, a quick evaluation and treatment in the nearest hospital is essential to save lives,” stated Katherine Bunting-Williams, Ph.D., FMH, CEO.


“The Emergency Team works hard to stay ahead of the ever-changing national standards and treatments for not only stroke, but all types of emergency care.  I am proud to be part of a team and organization that places great emphasis on patient care and safety,” Michelle O’Neill, M.D., Medical Director of Emergency Services.


Stroke Warning Signs –

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:

Face Drooping – Does one side of the fact droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.  Is the person’s smile uneven?

Arm Weakness – is one arm weak or numb?  Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty – Is Speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately.  Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.