UM Charles Regional Medical Center has received designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS).

The concept behind a Primary Stroke Center includes a heightened state of readiness for stroke patients, making sure hospital-wide mechanisms are in place to rapidly identify and intervene in acute stroke and a multi-disciplinary team who can deliver rapid and sophisticated care.

The key features of a Primary Stroke Center are that medical staff stabilizes and treats acute stroke patients; that they provide initial acute care; and that they admit patients or transfer them to a comprehensive stroke center as needed. Our goal is to keep our patients within the community unless they require an acute service that the patient needs and which may not be available at UM Charles Regional.

Having UM Charles Regional Medical Center is important to the community because of the impact stroke has as a significant source of illness and death.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind cardiovascular disease and all forms of cancer. Each year, approximately 700,000 people will experience a new or recurrent stroke (one person every 45 seconds). Every three minutes a person dies from a stroke and 28% of stroke victims each year are under the age of 65. However there are approximately 4.8 million survivors of stroke alive today, mostly due to fast, appropriate care of the patient immediately upon diagnosis.

You should know the symptoms of stroke — a sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body, often on the face, arm or leg); sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes (typically one eye); sudden trouble with walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination; and/or sudden severe headache with no known cause. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

View prehospital stroke management techniques for Emergency Medical Services professionals.

Sean Mbachu, MD, MHS, board-certified emergency room physician on staff at UM Charles Regional Medical Center, is the Director of UM Charles Regional's Stroke Center.

For more information on UM Charles Regional's stroke program, please call our Stroke Coordinator at 301-609-4306.

A "Get With The Guidelines: Gold Plus" award from the American Heart Association recognizing stroke procedures at the UM Charles Regional Medical Center.