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Hoag Recognized Among the National Leaders in Stroke Care

Three things matter most during a stroke: time, expertise, and quality of care. On all three counts, the Comprehensive Stroke Center at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag exceeds national standards, thus survival and recovery rates surpass most hospitals in the nation.

While stroke remains one of the top five leading causes of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S., at Hoag, patient outcomes tell a different story. By investing in world-class expertise, cutting-edge technology and patient-centered rehabilitation, stroke patients who arrive at Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag not only survive, but recover and thrive, at best-of-class rates.

For example, Hoag was one of the first hospitals in Southern California to offer endovascular intra-arterial thrombectomy, the minimally invasive removal of a blood clot that threatens the brain. Of Hoag’s patients who receive emergency treatment for a stroke, 64% are self-sufficient after 90 days. For those patients who require endovascular intervention, 46% are self-sufficient within three months. Nationally, the average for complete recovery is 10%.

“Hoag’s investment in state-of-the-art technology, our top-tier interventional neuroradiologists and philanthropic support for the Fudge Family Acute Rehabilitation Center has led to unprecedented results in patient outcomes,” said Michael Brant-Zawadzki, M.D., F.A.C.R., senior physician executive and the Ron & Sandi Simon Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair of Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag. “The types of strokes occurring in patients who are being rescued today used to be lethal in the majority of patients. We are seeing lives saved and quality of life preserved in unprecedented numbers compared to much of the nation.”

This commitment to leading-class care is one reason Hoag is the highest volume stroke center in Orange County and the second busiest in California, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

“For a program to be successful, you need outreach to first responders, specialized stroke care nurses, technologists, expert medical staff, specialized neuro-interventionalists and the neurologists working as a team to help manage the patient,” said David Brown, M.D., medical director of Hoag’s Stroke Program. “The vision of the hospital makes it possible for programs like ours to exist. It’s one of the best hospitals around anywhere.”

Hoag stands apart for its commitment to recovery, not just survival. The Fudge Family Acute Rehabilitation Center is a rarity in Orange County as it’s an acute rehab center co-located at a hospital. The arrangement allows continuity of care to serve adults recovering from neurological and orthopedic issues, including stroke, with more comprehensive care given by clinicians who see the patient from their first critical minutes to home.

The evolving stroke interventions at Hoag keep quality of life top-of-mind. The team’s expansion of intra-arterial thrombectomy capabilities has had a dramatic effect on quality of life.

“For 20 years, the only treatment available for stroke was a drug that was 40% effective at restoring blood flow for some patients. For patients with clots blocking large vessels, we can now successfully restore blood flow with endovascular clot removal greater than 95% of the time,” said interventional neuroradiologist Christopher B. Baker, M.D. “We’ve been able to significantly improve the overall outcomes of these patients.”

The Stroke Program at Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute has been recognized nationally for its high-quality care, earning the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for fourteen straight years and the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite for three years. Hoag is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and Hoag Irvine is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by DNV GL Healthcare USA, Inc.

“It is important to remember, however, that Hoag can only offer help if patients seek it. Hoag’s commitment to advanced patient care has remained strong in the face of COVID-19 and we continue to place the safety of patients at the forefront,” Dr. Brant-Zawadzki said. “Delaying care for fear of highly unlikely viral infection in the hospital when stroke symptoms appear is much more dangerous than the low risk of infection at the hospital. We’ve proven and published data that infections are rare in the hospital itself.”

For more information, call 888-771-3184.