Bermuda Hospitals Board Primary Stroke Centre screens all its patients for depression

Tuesday 6 July 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) will now routinely screen all its stroke patients for depression.

“Experiencing a stroke can dramatically affect a person’s life,” said BHB Primary Stroke Centre Medical Director Dr Francene Gayle. “Strokes can be debilitating, moving a normally functioning person to one with significant function impairment. This can happen suddenly.

“Such a drastic change in a person’s mental and physical condition is understandably often traumatic, not only for the person but also for their family. It’s the reason many stroke patients become depressed in the days, weeks and months following their diagnosis.”

“Depression after a stroke is common,” said BHB Chief of Psychiatry Dr Chantelle Simmons. “In addition to the direct emotional impact, post-stroke depression is also associated with poorer functional outcomes. The good news is that treatment is available and we will provide it.”

“Early identification and treatment of post-stroke depression is critical in optimising patient outcomes,” added Dr Gayle.

The Primary Stroke Centre has implemented a post-stroke depression policy that clearly details how patients will be assessed for depression, when they will be assessed and, based on the assessment, the treatment that will be used. Inpatient and outpatient treatments are available.

The new process involves various hospital departments and disciplines, including allied health professionals (occupational, physical and speech therapists), nurses, physicians, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.

“Implementation of this policy is another example of how we at BHB continuously strive to give the highest quality and safest care to our patients,” said BHB Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller. “We have a vision to pursue excellence through improvement wherever we can. Recognising and attending to the mental health needs of our stroke patients is not only good for our individual stroke patients, but by extension for their families and friends. It’s beneficial to our Bermuda community.”

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6 July 2021 Home Page, News

BHB celebrates Stroke Awareness Week

Tuesday 27 October 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) Stroke Centre is focusing on stroke awareness for the public this week. Many Bermuda families are impacted by stroke every year.

“In recent years the number of stroke cases has increased significantly in Bermuda,” said BHB consultant neurologist and Stroke Centre Director Francene Gayle, MD. “Stroke is considered an epidemic on the island. An average of four to five people present at the hospital every week with stroke.”

Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability in Bermuda.

“The good news is that there are actions we can take to reduce our stroke risk,” said BHB Stroke Centre Coordinator Jamie Farrell.  “These include keeping our blood pressure at safe levels, lowering our cholesterol, following a heart healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake and controlling diabetes.

“To determine your stroke risk you can use the Stroke Risk Scorecard – National Stroke Association,” said Ms Farrell.

“Recognising the symptoms of stroke is vitally important,” said Dr Gayle. “Every second counts and fast action can actually save lives and often greatly reduce disability. Everyone needs to know the simple acronym BE FAST and what it stands for.”

During the week, BHB will be handing out wallet-sized BE FAST cards. The cards are an easy-access reference guide if you suspect someone is having a stroke.

BHB invites the public to take the daily Stroke Awareness quiz on the Bermuda Hospitals Facebook page. The quiz questions appear at 8am each day until Friday. Answers to the morning questions appear at 6pm each day.

On World Stroke Day, Thursday 29 October, BHB encourages the public to do a physical activity, as regular exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle that reduces the risk of chronic disease including stroke.

Tag BHB in your Stroke Day activity Facebook posts. The Stroke Centre team would love to know what you did.

You can download the Stroke Risk Scorecard and BE FAST flyer below.

Stroke-Risk-Scorecard-2018

BHB BE FAST Flyer

27 October 2020 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board establishes a Primary Stroke Centre

Wednesday 17 July 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces the establishment of a Primary Stroke Centre at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH).

An estimated two percent of the population suffers an acute stroke in Bermuda every year. “We recognise that acute stroke in Bermuda is an epidemic that contributes to adult disability and significant economic cost,” said BHB Chief of Staff Michael Richmond, MD. “We are thus making the care and treatment of stroke patients a top priority.”

BHB is developing the stroke programme in collaboration with experts from Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center and its Department of Neurology’s Global Center for Organized Stroke Care. The collaboration is part of the clinical affiliation between BHB and Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHMI). Through the affiliation, Johns Hopkins is providing educational training, protocol development assistance and project management support to aid in the progress of the centre and BHB’s pursuit of accreditation.

BHB Consultant Neurologist Francene Gayle, MD is leading the project for BHB. She said: “A primary stroke centre ensures the highest level of care to acute stroke patients including the use of intravenous thrombolytics (clot busting agents) for appropriate candidates who present within 4.5 hours of the onset of a stroke. It also ensures island-wide public education on the signs and symptoms of an acute stroke as well as stroke prevention strategies. There is also an emphasis on re-integrating stroke survivors into the community through rehabilitation.”

“Johns Hopkins Medicine International is pleased to be guiding Bermuda Hospitals Board in establishing the Primary Stroke Centre in Bermuda. We work with thousands of stroke patients from around the world every year and are eager to share our expertise to benefit the Bermuda community,” said Dr. Victor Urrutia, Director of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.

BHB CEO Venetta Symonds said: “We are pleased to make this service improvement. Instituting a Primary Stroke Centre at BHB creates a path for us to fulfil our commitment to deliver exceptional care to foster a healthy Bermuda community.”

Caption:

Pictured from left: Angela Gilbert RPT, BHB Clinical Manager, Allied Health Services;  Heloisa Ambrosia RN, BHB Clinical Nurse Educator (Med/Surg Services); Holly Russell, OTR/L, Rehab Team Leader, RTS Team Leader, John Hopkins Hospital; April Pruski, MD, Assistant Professor SOM PMR Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Lisa Klein, Clinical Nurse Specialist, CNRN, JHMI; Brenda Johnson, MD, Assistant Director, Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Stroke Center and Assistant Professor of Neurology , Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Victor Urrutia, MD, Director The Johns Hopkins Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center and Associate Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Judy Richardson RN, BHB Chief of Nursing; Francene Gayle MD, BHB Physician Lead, Primary Stroke Centre; Consultant Internist and Neurologist; Nevin Williams MD, BHB Assistant Director of Hospitalist Services; Kathy Albuoy RN, BHB Clinical Manager, Ascendant Partner Re; Phillip Jones MD, BHB Emergency Physician; Margia Arguello, Associate, Global Services, JHMI; Michael Ashton MD,BHB Chief of Medicine; Cathy Stovell BHB Public Relations and Norma Smith RN, BHB Clinical Director, Medical/Surgical Services

17 July 2019 Home Page, News