The Erlanger Regional Stroke Center is Southeast Tennessee's first and only accredited Primary Stroke Center. Erlanger earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers, recognizing that the Erlanger stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. World class neurologist, Dr. Thomas Devlin provides medical oversight in concert with renowned neurointerventionalist radiologist Dr. Blaise Baxter. The primary access for stroke starts in the Erlanger Emergency Department, and EM residents are an important part of the team.
President George W. Bush tours Erlanger's stroke center facilities in 2007. Dr. Baxter
demonstrates the MERCI Clot Retriever.
Erlanger Regional Stroke Center
Erlanger has become known for this region's highest level of care for stroke patients and has acquired a national reputation for research and trials of cutting edge treatments and technologies. Established in 1998 as the Erlanger Emergency Heart & Stroke Center, the Erlanger Regional Stroke Center is still the only program of its kind in the region. One section of the Erlanger Baroness Campus Emergency Department is set aside as an area where emergency heart and brain attack patients are seen, but the "center" concept is much more than a unit. It encompasses a set of treatment protocols that are aimed to bringing patients the most appropriate and timely treatment of stroke.
Erlanger has been chosen as one of five centers to participate in an extension of the PhotoThera Nest-2 trial based on site prominence, enrollment rate and the quality of performance. Erlanger is one of the top three hospitals for enrolling MERCI patients in the national registry. Other ongoing clinical trials include the Ancrod, Vernalis, IMS-III, and MR Rescue.
The Erlanger Stroke Protocol
Stroke is a major medical problem in our community and is the third leading cause of death nationally. Chattanooga is located deep in the heart of the "stroke belt" of the U.S. with one of the highest incidences of stroke anywhere in the country. The stroke team at Erlanger has set up a regional stroke system, in which patients are brought to the Emergency Heart & Stroke Center by helicopter or ambulance to receive emergency evaluation by stroke specialists. Upon the patient's arrival, the team responds immediately - assessing the patient, performing a CT scan of the brain to evaluate for any bleeding and a CT angiogram is performed to rule out hemorrhage. Patients presenting with stroke within three hours of onset of their symptoms may be candidates to receive tPA intravenously. Those who arrive within six hours may be candidates for intra-arterial tPA. Many revolutionary treatments are offered at Erlanger for the treatment of stroke, including innovative clinical trials that keep Erlanger Regional Stroke Center in the forefront among treatment centers of this region and the country. With a stroke team made up of emergency physicians, neurologists, interventional radiologists, nurses, the Erlanger Regional Stroke Center provides cutting-edge technology for stroke patients and is counted as one of the leading stroke centers nationally.