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Stroke Ready

Minutes Matter!

Saint John Hospital Has Stroke-Ready Certification

Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and stroke is the leading preventable cause of disability, according to the American Stroke Association.

That's why Saint John Hospital has taken the added step of becoming certified as an Advanced Disease-Specific Care for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The certification recognizes hospitals equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a Primary or Comprehensive Stroke Center.

The certification demonstrates Saint John's commitment to providing a higher standard of service to stroke patients, while also addressing the gap in access to acute stroke services.

Saint John underwent a rigorous onsite review to assess its compliance with the Joint Commission's Advanced Disease-Specific Care certification requirements, including:

  • A dedicated stroke-focused program
  • Staffing by qualified medical professionals trained in stroke care
  • Collaboration with local emergency management agencies
  • 24/7 ability to perform rapid diagnostic and laboratory testing
  • Ability to administer intravenous clot-busting medications to eligible patients
  • Availability of telemedicine technology

For friends or family, knowing when the patient was last "normal" is important information to share with EMS and hospital staff upon arrival to Saint John because there is a three-hour window from the time a patient exhibits stroke symptoms to get them treatment with clot-busting drugs.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting the signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately for help. For more information about stroke, visit

Stop Stroke F.A.S.T.!

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

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

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

S 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?

T 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.