In 2005, NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital became the first in Northern Westchester/Putnam to be designated a Regional Stroke Center by the State Hospital Review and Planning Council. This means the Hospital has protocols in place to ensure a rapid response for patients experiencing stroke symptoms. When a stroke is suspected, our ER staff provides a fast evaluation of symptoms. The team also determines whether the patient is a candidate for Tissue Plasminogen Activator (t-PA), a medication that can minimize or even reverse the damage caused by the stroke if administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms.
"After much preparation, education, and certifications, the Hospital is equipped to provide a head-start in reducing the likelihood of long-term disabilities associated with stroke,” says John C. Federspiel, Hospital President. “With only a 3-hour window to start treatment, the ability to identify warning signs and getting the person to our emergency room can be a life-saver."
A stroke is when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching brain tissue. Without oxygen and nutrients, brain cells start to die, leading to a loss of functions – eyesight, speech, movement etc. - controlled by the affected area of the brain.
Strokes are treatable and preventable. The faster a patient is treated, the greater the chance of recovery. For some types of stroke, treatment should be administered within the first three hours. To reduce the risk of brain damage and increase the chance of a full recovery, patients should get to a hospital as quickly as possible after the first sign of a stroke.
Some warning signs of stroke are:
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance/coordination; sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability.
With an average of more than 36,000 patients coming through its doors each year, NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital has one of the busiest Emergency Departments in Westchester. One reason is our reputation for the most advanced emergency care and our compassionate, award-winning Magnet nursing staff. Leading the way, our Emergency Department became the first in the region in 2005 to open a "No-wait" Emergency Department, offering bedside registration to reduce wait times. In June 2010, we doubled the size of our ER and expanded new Fast Track area so that less critical cases could be seen without taking a back seat to more urgent ones.
Our specially trained and accredited physicians and nurses are ready to deliver quality emergency care 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. We are a designated stroke center, meaning we have the expertise to administer the necessary care to prevent long-term disabilities.
Our new state-of-the-art Emergency Department features:
How does a no-wait ER differ from a traditional one? It’s one where the patient skips the waiting room and is taken directly into a triage room, where they are medically assessed by registered nurses. Portable computers are used to register them as they are being seen by a doctor or nurse. Less critical patients – such as kids with cuts and bruises – can be pulled from the mainstream into a Fast Track area where they can get immediate care without taking a back seat to more urgent cases. Whenever possible, testing is done concurrently, to speed up the process.
Cortlandt Regional Paramedics (CRP) A pre-hospital emergency care program that offers the community Advanced Life Support Services delivered by Paramedics 24 hours a day. Their primary response area is the Town of Cortlandt and the City of Peekskill but also assist neighboring towns with mutual aide. These Paramedics work in cooperation with the local volunteer ambulance corps to improve outcomes before the patient arrives at the Emergency Department.
Cortlandt Regional Paramedics provides an Advanced Life Support First Response Vehicle (ALSFRV) to the local 911 system. In doing this, trained paramedics travel to patients in vehicles equipped with Advanced Life Support equipment. In most cases faster than the ambulance can get to the scene. Paramedics are able to triage patients in the field (including performing EKGs) and either send the patient with the BLS ambulance or perform Advanced skills to improve the patients medical condition. The Paramedic will also send information directly back to the hospital. Based on this vital information doctors receive from the Paramedics, the Emergency Department Physician can determine whether the patient should be transported to the hospital or be diverted to another care facility that is more appropriate.
The Entergy Emergency Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital is equipped to deal with radiological emergencies that may arise in the event of an incident at Entergy’s Indian Point Nuclear Plant. With a grant from Entergy, the hospital has constructed a decontamination room that can be used in the event that workers are exposed to radiation. Each year, the hospital, Entergy and EMS agencies participate in a radiological preparedness drill to make sure that the Hospital is prepared in case of an emergency. Workers affected at the plant would most likely be transferred to the hospital since the Hospital is the closest to the Buchanan nuclear plant.
Debbie Aglietti and her sons
“This no-wait ER is no joke. It’s true to its name in every sense. I did not even sit down in the waiting room. I went to the window and was immediately taken in the back.” Debbie Aglietti – ER patient – viral meningitis - Debbie Aglietti
When Debbie Aglietti found herself suffering with an intense headache that kept getting worse, she knew she needed help. And she knew just where to go: The no-wait ER at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital. Debbie arrived at the ER on a Saturday afternoon, which can be a tough day to get fast help in most emergency rooms. Not at Hudson Valley.
Debbie was worried that an ER would think it was just a headache and not respond quickly. She was relieved to find out that at the hospital they took her pain very seriously.
Debbie was greeted at the door by a friendly nurse who took her insurance information, took her vital signs then immediately took her to a private room in the ER. Debbie was amazed by the prompt and thorough care she received. As soon as she was put into a room, she was seen by another nurse who did additional tests and brought her medication for the excruciating headache pain.
While all this was going on, Debbie’s husband was dropping their son off at soccer practice. By the time he got back, Debbie had been seen by two nurses and a doctor, was totally pain free and was waiting for a neurological consult.
The ER doctors established that Debbie might have meningitis. She was given a spinal tap, right in the room in the ER. Within a matter of 10 minutes they were able to tell her it was positive. Debbie had viral meningitis. Less dangerous than bacterial meningitis, Debbie then spent several days at the hospital in a comfortable private room. A highly committed team of doctors and nurses helped make this painful experience a lot easier.
Debbie was amazed at the community effort amongst the ER team, and the staff of the hospital once she was admitted. Even the security staff who escorted her to her room were kind, caring and attentive. Everyone worked together for her…coming in to make sure the pain medication was helping, asking about her pain scale, one to ten, and getting her pain medication accordingly. Debbie said the way they care for patients, and care for each other is truly extraordinary. Today Debbie is back on her feet and moving as fast as ever in both her medically related career and as a wife and mom of two busy teen-aged boys. She is very enthusiastic in her praise of NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital:
“You really get that individual care that you want. In many hospitals you walk in an ER and there are lots people waiting hours to be seen by a doctor,'' she said. "Not at Hudson Valley. The Hospital claims they practice a different kind of medicine called patientology. And they are true to what they promise. They take each individual and treat them as a person first, and then as a patient. It’s very unique and I think it sets them apart. It’s just like they say. It is a better place to get better.”
“You really get that individual care that you want . In many hospitals you walk in an ER and there are lots people waiting hours to be seen by a doctor. Not at Hudson Valley. The Hospital claims they practice a different kind of medicine called patientology. And they are true to what they promise. They take each individual and treat them as a person first, and then as a patient. It’s very unique and I think it sets them apart. It’s just like they say. It is a better place to get better.”
Dr. Denise Rinato and her husband
Dr. Denise Rinato, an OB/GYN who lives in Somers and practices in Cortlandt, said she learned about the efficiency of the Hospital’s “No Wait” Emergency Department first hand on March 24, 2010 when her husband had a heart attack.
“My husband woke up on his 52 birthday about 9:30 a.m. with chest and shoulder pain,’’ said Dr. Rinato. “Even though we live in Somers, our doctor is here so I insisted we come to Hudson Valley. My husband’s treatment could not have been better. Everyone was wonderful. He arrived at the hospital at 10:25 he was seen within 10 minutes and by 12 he had been taken to Westchester Medical Center and had a stent placed and was doing well.’’