The UCLA Stroke Center has been certified as a
comprehensive stroke center by the Joint Commission and the American Heart
Association / American Stroke Association. The center, part of UCLA Health and
the UCLA Department of Neurology, is one of the first 10 stroke centers in the
nation to receive the prestigious designation.
The certification, which confirms that the UCLA Stroke
Center has met the highest national standards for safety and quality of care,
further enhances the center’s national reputation as an innovator in clinical
“This is a true team effort, reflecting the efforts of
over 200 physicians, nurses, therapists, pharmacists and technologists at the
UCLA Stroke Center and spanning all of UCLA Health,” said Dr. Jeffrey Saver,
the center’s director and a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School
of Medicine at UCLA. “It is a reflection of our team’s sustained, collective
commitment to saving the lives of our stroke patients.”
The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit
organization that accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care
organizations and programs in the United States, conducted a rigorous on-site
review at UCLA, collecting data and evaluating the center’s performance based
on the commission’s requirements for the certification.
The commission now certifies two levels of stroke care,
“primary” and “comprehensive.” Comprehensive stroke centers offer the highest
level of care, including neuro-intensive care units, complex neurosurgical
interventions, and advanced brain and blood-vessel imaging.
Since the UCLA Stroke Center was established in 1994, it
has offered stroke patients state-of-the-art facilities and highly skilled
specialists, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As part of a major academic
institution, the center also has been a world leader in researching and
implementing new ways to improve stroke survival and recovery.
For example, nearly a decade ago, center researchers
invented the MERCI Retriever – a mechanical device that removed stroke-causing
clots from the brain. The center supplanted the MERCI device last February with
the SOLITAIRE Flow Restoration Device, which dramatically outperformed the
standard mechanical treatment. SOLITAIRE proved to be so superior that the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration ended its clinical trial nearly a year earlier
than planned due to SOLITAIRE’s significantly better outcomes.
The UCLA Stroke Center was also an innovator with the
establishment, in 2009, of its Telestroke Network Partner Program, which gives
emergency departments at community hospitals across California the opportunity
for direct, immediate, around-the-clock video consultations with UCLA stroke
Within 15 minutes of being contacted, a neurologist can be
interviewing and counseling a patient and family and performing a
stroke-specific neurologic exam through a two-way video connection. The UCLA
stroke specialist can view any local diagnostic images online as well.
The commission’s certification shows that UCLA has
achieved the highest standard of stroke care by ensuring that patients receive
treatment according to nationally accepted standards and
“The dual mission of the UCLA Stroke Center is to
provide the best possible care for every patient with cerebrovascular disease
and to innovate new methods to diagnose, treat and cure stroke,” said Dr. Neil
Martin, chair of the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery and a member of the UCLA
Stroke Center’s steering committee. “We look forward to serving the Los Angeles
community as a certified comprehensive stroke center.”
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