(From left to right) Neurointerventional radiology physicians Jeffrey Carpenter, M.D., and Ansaar Rai, M.D.

WVU Stroke Center receives renewal of state’s only Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Stroke Center at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital has received a renewal of The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers – the only such designated center in West Virginia. 

“This certification is a testament to the commitment of WVU Medicine to provide the highest quality care for stroke patients across the region,” Muhammad “Mud” Alvi, M.D., medical director of the WVU Stroke Center and neurologist at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, said. “It also highlights the hard work put in by the multidisciplinary stroke team.”

According to the American Stroke Association, “in leading causes of U.S. death, stroke used to rank fourth. Now it’s fifth. The higher survival rates are largely due to medical treatment advances. The right care — done the right way — can save both lives and quality of life.”

One of the ways to save lives and quality of life is through a reduction in the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. A short “door-to-needle” time is imperative to preserve brain function after a stroke.

Patients who meet criteria and are known to be less than three hours from onset of symptoms are eligible to receive this medication. The WVU Stroke Center is committed to providing tPA to every patient who qualifies. In 2021, it met that goal 100 percent of the time – besting the national average of 90 percent.

Some large vessel occlusion ischemic strokes may be treated with endovascular clot-retrieval by interventional neuroradiology specialists. Ruby Memorial Hospital has provided this treatment for more than 15 years. Ruby Memorial also offers around-the-clock neurosurgical coverage for any stroke requiring surgical intervention.

In 2021, Ruby Memorial was faster at treating ischemic strokes with thrombolytic (35.5 minutes) and endovascular clot-retrieval (55 minutes) than the national averages of 41 and 72 minutes, respectively.

“I am proud of our neurointerventional team of technologists, nurses, and physicians, who provide round-the-clock advanced endovascular stroke therapy,” Ansaar Rai, M.D., chair of the WVU Department of Neuroradiology, said. “Being part of the stroke team is truly a privilege.”

When it comes to stroke, the most important thing to remember is that time equals brain, which is why it is imperative to BE FAST:

Balance – Dizziness or loss of balance
Eyes – Vision changes
Face – One side of the face drooping
Arm – One arm or leg weak or numb
Speech – Trouble understanding or speaking, confusion, or slurred speech
Time – Time to call 911

For more information about the WVU Stroke Center, visit WVUMedicine.org/RNI/Stroke

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