In the late 1960s, the University of Mississippi Medical Center initiated one of the first stroke-focused units in the United States because we recognized the need for specialized care. In 2008, UMMC opened an acute care stroke unit—combining leading-edge technology, expertise, and specialty care—at University Hospital.
Today, UMMC provides highly coordinated expertise at every level of care through the Stroke Center. The center participates in the Mississippi State System of Care as a state-designated stroke center. The center is supported by state-of-the-art technology and facilities, including a six-bed dedicated stroke unit, and a 20-bed neurosciences intensive care unit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes affect 795,000 people each year in the United States. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and the number one cause of long-term physical disability, such as paralysis, speech difficulties, and emotional changes.
A stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Parts of the brain become damaged or die. Although risk increases with age, strokes can happen at any age. Nearly 25 percent of strokes occur in people under the age of 65 nationally, but in Mississippi, that number is nearly double.
In recognition of its quality stroke care, UMMC has received the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association's "Get With the Guidelines" - Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award. The award honors the University Stroke Center for commitment to providing stroke patients with rapid diagnosis and treatment according to the latest evidence-based standards and guidelines. The "Get With the Guidelines" award recognizes the center for "turning guidelines into lifelines."
UMMC's stroke center provides rapid diagnosis and treatment with brain imaging scans, neurological evaluations, clot-busting medications, and surgery when needed. The continuum of care continues with aggressive medical care and rehabilitation followed by education and prevention measures to help patients reduce the risk of a second stroke. While the national average is 3% of patients receiving clot-busting medications, University Stroke Center treats up to 22% of stroke patients with clot-busting medication and an additional 5% with surgical intervention.
As part of its rapid response protocol, the University of Mississippi Medical Center has medical helicopters ready to transport patients when time is a critical factor. On board each medical flight are dedicated flight nurses and flight paramedics specially trained to respond to medical emergencies.
Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Gold Seal 2016The Joint Commission (opens in new window)
On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. About 5,000 Mississippians experience their first stroke each year and more than 1,500 die, according to the Mississippi Department of Health.
When a stroke happens, it is important to recognize the symptoms, call 911, and get to a hospital quickly for emergency treatment.
Learning the symptoms of stroke—and acting fast when they occur—can help save your life or that of a loved one. Call 911 immediately.
Use the F.A.S.T. test to help recognize stroke symptoms: