Health Team

Rex Hospital's earns certification for stroke care

Posted July 28, 2011

— Rex Hospital in Raleigh recently earned certification as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. The designation, which came from the Joint Commission, makes it a destination for stroke care, Rex neurologist Dr. Ken Carnes said. 

Vernon O'Daniel, 59, experienced that type of care first-hand when he was taken into Rex last January after showing signs of a stroke. 

While helping his wife make the bed, O'Daniel said he remembers getting dizzy and falling down. 

O'Daniel's wife, Denise, had seen a list of stroke symptoms on the Internet and began checking her husband. 

"She looked at my face, and I had a lopsided smile," O'Daniel said. "I couldn't raise my left arm, left leg." 

Doctors say anyone who develops signs of a stroke, including slurred speech, a sudden onset of dizziness and weakness on one side, should call 911 immediately.

O'Daniel's wife called 911, which began a streamlined response with Wake County EMS and Rex Hospital. 

Once arriving at Rex, a CT scan showed O'Daniel had a blood clot in his brain, which could be treated with the clot-busting drug TPA. The drug must be given within three hours of the first symptoms.

"The old saying goes, 'Time is brain,' and that really makes a difference and that's what we're trying to achieve here," Carnes said. 

O'Daniel said his quick care, including the TPA injection, was a life-saver. He avoided the problems of disability and lost brain function.

"Later that night, I was almost back to my same normal self," O'Daniel said. 

Rex Hospital's earns certification for stroke care Rex Hospital's earns certification for stroke care

Anyone can experience a stroke, but those most at risk are people older than 65, those with hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol and tobacco users.

A list of Advanced Primary Stroke Centers in the state

The Triangle has four Advanced Primary Stroke Centers. 



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  • North Carolina Cutie Aug 2, 2011

    I'm glad there is a hospital that cares and listens to the patient. My brother took my mom to pinehurst 10 years ago he told them she was having a stroke they said no and sent her home now her right side is paralized when we took her back it was to late.

  • allie19 Aug 2, 2011

    Sure am glad Rex hasn't caved to Atkinson yet. From what the docs at UNC say UNC is NOT happy with him either!Go Rex!!!

  • cdhrtp Jul 28, 2011

    Ok Vernon - what you don't say is what your "normal state" is!!! So glad things went well and that Denise recognized the signs and took action quickly. Hopefully others will learn from this!!!