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Lenox Hill Hospital Designated as Stroke Center

February 1, 2006

Lenox Hill Hospital announced that it has been designated as a Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health.

"A speedy diagnosis and treatment are critical when treating strokes. This designation means that Lenox Hill Hospital is equipped to provide crucial care within a small window of opportunity. This can make the very real difference between full recovery and permanent impairment," stated Steven V. Pacia, MD, Director, Division of Neurology.

Every moment counts when treating a stroke. Stroke centers are more effective in administering treatments for acute stroke, including the use of fast-acting thrombolytic (clot-busting) drugs. Tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), when given to patients intravenously within three hours of stroke onset, has been shown to significantly reduce the number of poor outcomes in stroke patients by as much as 40 percent.

Lenox Hill Hospital has established a streamlined protocol to immediately respond to stroke victims. EMS staff, who have a critical role in providing speedy transport, notify the hospital?s Emergency Department. A highly-trained team of emergency room doctors, neurologists, nurses and technicians responds rapidly. The patient is assessed, fast-tracked to a CAT scan of the brain, and lab work given top priority. A clot-busting drug is administered to appropriate stroke patients.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death, and a major cause of disability, affecting three quarters of a million people in the U.S.A. each year. Strokes symptoms can be subtle and painless but immediate medical attention is required. The most common symptoms are weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face arm or leg, usually on one side of the body; loss of vision, usually in one eye; inability to speak or understand speech; and sudden onset of difficulty walking.

The risks for strokes increase with hypertension, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol. Physicians suggest weight management, regular exercise, a healthy diet of low fat and low salt foods, and low cholesterol levels as contributing factors to stroke prevention and a healthy lifestyle.

Lenox Hill Hospital, a 652-bed, acute-care hospital located on Manhattan's Upper East Side, has earned a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. The Hospital is particularly well known for excellence in cardiovascular disease, orthopaedics, joint replacement, sports medicine, otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, and maternal/child health. A major teaching affiliate of NYU Medical Center, the Hospital is also a recognized leader in public health education and community outreach.

Members of the press seeking information about Lenox Hill Hospital should call the Public Relations Department at (212) 434-2400.