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Improved Communications Fosters Better Stroke Patient Outcomes

June 20th, 2014

St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center held the second of its quarterly Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Dinner and Lecture Series on Wednesday, June 19, 2014, at the Watermill in Smithtown. The hospital sponsored event is an initiative to foster excellence in health care services through improved communication and education, while also showing first responders appreciation and much deserved recognition. Director of St. Catherine of Emergency Medical Services Paul Taglienti, MD, lectured “The Stroke Patient” , and Shamim Khan, MD, lectured on “The Chest Pain Patient”.

In addition, first responders from the Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corp., Lauren Cavalieri, Matthew Core, Sebastian Galofaro, Garry Ritter, were presented with the “Protector of the Penumbra” award. The “Protector of the Penumbra” award was developed by St. Catherine of Siena as a patient initiative in partnership with the American Heart Association. The goal is to improve administration times for the “clot-busting” drug used in the treatment of patients who are brought to the emergency department with symptoms of acute ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that stops the flow of blood and deprives the surrounding brain tissue of oxygen. In the absence of oxygen, the brain cells in the immediate area begin to die and release a cascade of toxic chemicals that threaten brain tissue in the surrounding area—the ischemic penumbra.  When a patient receives the drug within 40 minutes of arrival emergency personnel are awarded for their diligence. Because of their timely care, they successfully aided in minimizing the long-term deficits from the ischemic stroke.

St. Catherine of Siena was recently recognized internationally for its patient quality achievements at the 2014 International Stroke Conference, sponsored by the American Heart/American Stroke Associations held in February.

Photo (L-R): St. Catherine’s Stroke Program Coordinator Catherine Videtto, MSN, RN, Commack Ambulance EMT’s Sebastian Galofaro, Garry Ritter, Matthew Core and Lauren Cavalieri, St. Catherine’s Director of Emergency Medical Services Paul Taglienti and St. Catherine’s Director of the Emergency Department Sayed Khwaja, DO.