Willis-Knighton Opens Second Stroke Unit

Feb 07, 2019

Willis-Knighton Health System opened a new stroke unit at WK Bossier Health Center on Monday, Feb. 4. The six-bed  unit is the second in the system that consolidates stroke patients into an area where a team with specialized training provide care.  

The health system’s first stroke unit opened at WK Pierremont Health Center in 2016 and in 2017 it received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The certification indicates it is a facility that gives highly reliable care for stroke patients. The protocols developed by the WK PIerremont stroke team have been replicated for all Willis-Knighton emergency departments.

“The goal for the WK Bossier stroke unit is to provide the best possible treatment and care for stroke patients by applying best practices consistent with the guidelines,” says Todd Blanchard, WK Bossier Health Center administrator. “WK Bossier will strive to achieve recognition as an accredited center of excellence for stroke.” The benefits of consolidating stroke patients in one area will be immediate, Blanchard adds.   “When patients are cared for by a staff trained in stroke care, their length of stay is decreased and their access to rehabilitation and recovery is expedited in a more efficient manner. Our team not only will provide individualized care but will make recommendations for the continued care of each patient.”

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Symptoms of stroke should not be ignored. Early recognition of stroke symptoms and prompt treatment will provide the most favorable outcomes. These are easily identified by the word “FAST.” FACE: Is one side of the face drooping? ARM: Is there weakness in the arm? SPEECH: Is speech difficult or unintelligible? If so, it is TIME to call 9-1-1. Emergency responders are trained to deal with these, so someone experiencing these symptoms should not risk a drive to the ER.