As of Thursday, South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta had the fastest door-to-needle time for stroke patients of any hospital in the United States.
A group of medical surveyors who inspect hospitals across the country inspected SGMC on Friday, April 3rd. The surveyors determined that the hospital is able to administer the clot busting drug known as "tPA" to the majority of stroke patients within an hour of the patients being brought in.
"The national goal for door to needle time is to be able to treat at least fifty percent of patients within sixty minutes. Within our facility, we treat eighty nine percent of our patients within 60 minutes and we treat seventy three percent of our patients within fourty five minutes, said SGMC Stroke Center Director Dr. Brian Dawson.
Dr. Dawson said the hospital's ability to work with EMS and get strokes diagnosed before patients even get to the hospital and the ability of all of the hospital's departments to work together to help diagnose and treat stroke patients is a key reason for the quick response time.
The group of surveyors inspects the hospital once every two years.