Two Columbia hospitals named complex stroke facilities

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COLUMBIA - Two local hospitals, Boone Hospital Center and University of Missouri Hospital, were recognized as level I stroke centers by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Only ten level I stroke centers have been designation statewide. 

In stroke situations, immediate response is key to survival. Level I stroke centers have expert care available to patients 24 hours a day. These centers are able to provide care for every stage of the stroke - from intake to rehabilitation at one facility. 

Level II stroke centers are able to provide medication to stroke victims but are not able to perform procedures on the patient. 

"We're able to do more complex procedures, so if someone has a clot in an artery which caused the stroke, in addition to receiving medication, which a level II hospital could do, we have the capabilities with interventionalists to go in through a catheter to then actually remove the blockage," said Dr. Allyn Sher, medical director of Boone Hospital Centers' stroke center.

University of Missouri Hospital has had a neuro-interventional care system in place for five years but is only now receiving the designation as a level I stroke center.

"There are only a few hospitals in the state of Missouri that are getting level I stroke center and it's great to have a stroke center right in central Missouri. That means we can provide timely care to all our patients and meet all their needs in case of emergencies," said Dr. Ashish Nanda, co-director of the Missouri Stroke Program at University of Missouri Hospital.

The stroke center designations are part of Missouri's Time Critical Diagnosis System, which focuses on quicker emergency response times and higher quality of care for emergency situations such as strokes.