Another possible fallout from the long-term COVID-19 effects is one particularly concerning for Megan Durant at Hillcrest South.
Durant references studies where the virus has been found to increase the likelihood of blood clots in patients, which can cause heart attacks and strokes in patients. Possible stroke symptoms can increase when patients ignore the initial signs, which has unfortunately become an all too common occurrence during the pandemic.
“I know a lot of people were very fearful because of COVID so they were scared to go to the hospital,” said Durant, the new stroke coordinator at Hillcrest South. “COVID can actually cause a stroke. We keep telling (patients) the importance of reporting symptoms in a timely manner.”
Durant, who spent the past three years with the stroke and neurological unit at Hillcrest Medical Center, will now be looking to spread awareness about the neurological disease during the pandemic.
“My hope is to grow the program and get more education out there to the community, patients and staff,” Durant said.
Hillcrest South is part of Oklahoma Stroke & Neurological Institute (OSNI) and certified as a primary stroke center and a premier provider of stroke and neurological services in the south Tulsa area. OSNI allows Hillcrest to be the first health care system in Tulsa to offer expert, certified stroke care at two locations, including Hillcrest Medical Center
When facing a possible stroke, a situation where seconds can matter, Durant warned to look for the initial symptoms, B.E. F.A.S.T.T. and call 911 immediately.
• Balance - Sudden dizziness, Loss of balance
• Eyes - Double vision, Blurred vision
• Face - Uneven smile, Facial droop
• Arm - Arm weakness, Arm numbness
• Speech - Slurred speech, Difficulty speaking or understanding
• Terrible headache - Sudden severe headache
• Time last seen normal - Call 911 immediately.
Hillcrest South renews primary stroke center certification status
Durant and her department recently renewed their primary stroke center certification through the DNV. The primary stroke center certification is an opportunity for Hillcrest South to demonstrate its commitment to excellence when providing stroke treatment.
The DNV certification process encompasses the full spectrum of stroke care – diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education – and establishes clear metrics to evaluate outcomes. The Hillcrest South team works hard to comply within these metrics. The process takes a full team approach to not only accomplish but also maintain primary stroke center certification. Without each and every team member involved in stroke care, the certification process would be next to impossible to accomplish. Their dedication and commitment speak to the primary stroke center certification and the care provided at Hillcrest South.