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Published on May 28, 2019

Gundersen program provides personalized stroke education and training

Gundersen Health System is pleased to announce Nicole Mikolajczak has joined Bethany Girtler as a coordinator for Gundersen's Primary Stroke Center. Together, they help maintain Gundersen's Joint Commission accredited program and improve outcomes for stroke patients in the Tri-state Region through outreach to area hospitals and clinics.

As stroke program coordinators, Nicole and Bethany are available to provide support in a variety of ways to you and your colleagues, including help:

  • Maintaining a stroke program
  • Reviewing and improving stroke program processes
  • Providing personalized stroke education and training to meet the needs of you and your team/s, including best practices for the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, computed tomography angiography (CTA) scanning, other stroke assessments and more

"We want to do what's best for all stroke patients, whether they're in La Crosse or in our neighboring communities," Nicole says. "That means we are always willing to help with whatever kind of stroke education or support a facility needs."

To learn how Gundersen's stroke program coordinators can help support you and your stroke patients, contact Nicole at (608) 775-3821 or nemikola@gundersenhealth.org or Bethany at (608) 775-5657 or BLGirtle@gundersenhealth.org.

New stroke guidelines increase patient access to some emergency care

New guidelines last year expanded the timeframe during which some emergency stroke care can be administered. These guidelines potentially allow more patients to be treated and reduce the rate of long-term disability and death from stroke.

For those who qualify, the American Stroke Association announced in 2018 that endovascular procedures can be performed up to 24 hours from the onset of symptoms rather than the previously established six-hour window. However, in all cases time is still crucial in ensuring positive outcomes.

While the updated recommendation means more patients may benefit from endovascular procedures, such as mechanical thrombolysis, previously established guidelines remain unchanged for other emergency stroke care. Clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) still can only be administered up to four and a half hours from the onset of symptoms, and only up to three hours for certain patients.

Despite these updated guidelines, emergency stroke care should never be delayed. For more information, contact Gundersen's Primary Stroke Center via MedLink at (800) 336-5465 or (608) 775-5465 in La Crosse.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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