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Code Stroke Program

In 2011, SGMC developed and implemented a new stroke program within the Emergency Department. Known as Code Stroke, it was the first program of its kind south of Macon. Read more about the program’s launch here.

The medical protocol outlines state-of-the-art management of stroke patients beginning with the early recognition of symptoms, appropriate and timely response by Emergency Medical Services and the Emergency Department, and quick intervention with tPA, a clot-busting medication that is used in patients who qualify for the treatment. The goal is to reduce, or possibly eliminate, long-term disability or death caused by strokes.

The Code Stroke program was developed in accordance with nationally accepted standards of stroke care which specify that tPA be given within three hours of the stroke’s onset, if the patient is a candidate for tPA. 

Meet the Code Stroke Team

SGMC’s rapid-response Code Stroke team is available within minutes to care for these patients both in the Emergency Room or those that are inpatients. Members of the Code Stroke team include Emergency Department nurses and physicians; Code Stroke Medical Director and Neurologist, Brian Dawson, MD, and SGMC medical staff, according to specific patient needs.

(Pictured from left to right:) Carmen Counts, RN; James Owen, MD; Janice Irvin, RN; Stacy Beck, RN, FNP; Code Stroke Medical Director Brian Dawson, MD; Lori Trouille, NP; and Jay Kelly, RN.

Awards & Certifications

Each 15-minute span between the onset of an ischemic stroke and the delivery of clot-busting medication is an average of one month of disability-free life lost for that patient, according to the American Heart Association. Quite simply, faster intervention means less brain lost. SGMC’s Code Stroke Program operates as a highly coordinated, rapid response team. We are proud to be recognized for our stroke program, because it means exemplary care for our patients. 

  • Certificate of Distinction for Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission for commitment to following national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients

  • Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for exemplary performance at reducing stroke-related death and disability 

  • Get With The Guidelines® Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for commitment to rapid treatment with lifesaving clot-busting drugs

  • Coverdell Champion Hospital of the Year by the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry (GCASR) for outstanding stroke care in the medium-sized hospital category (101 to 350 beds)

  • Coverdell Door-to-Needle Recognition by the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry (GCASR) for needle times averaging less than 45 minutes for diagnosing and administering clot busting medications (t-PA) to eligible stroke patients