Central Montana Medical Center was recognized with the Cardiac and Stroke Recognition Awards at the Montana Hospital Association’s annual meeting in Billings on September 21st. The Awards are sponsored by the Cardiovascular Health Program within the state health department. The Recognition Awards single out Critical Access Hospitals that demonstrate that they have the infrastructure and commitment to provide high quality care for patients with acute heart attack and stroke.   Receiving the Recognition confirms Central Montana Medical Center meets high standards related to the utilization of evidence-based cardiac and stroke order-sets and protocols, laboratory and radiology services available 24/7 and administrative commitment to treating acute heart attack and stroke patients.  

The Recognition Award was launched in 2011, and Central Montana Medical Center is one of only 9 Critical Access Hospitals in Montana to receive the Stroke award and one of only 12 to receive the Cardiac award.  Requirements for the recognition include tracking and reporting key cardiac and stroke outcomes, using outcomes data to initiate quality improvement activities and coordinating regular healthcare provider cardiac and stroke trainings.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the Montana.  Last year, over 5,000 Montana families were directly impacted by the devastating effects of heart attack and stroke.  Symptom recognition and timely, high quality treatment are important factors in reducing death and disability from heart attack and stroke.    

Know the signs and symptoms of stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face arm or leg
  • Sudden trouble seeing
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Know the signs and symptoms of heart attack:

  • Discomfort in the chest that does not go away after a short period of time
  • Discomfort in the arm, shoulder, jaw or upper back
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out into a cold sweat, unexplained nausea, dizziness, palpitations or fatigue

Know what to do if you or someone you know experience heart attack or stroke symptoms:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately

For more information about heart attack and stroke, please visit: www.heart.org and www.strokeassociation.org

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