BURLINGAME, Calif. – Mills-Peninsula Medical Center (MPMC), part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit network, has received certification as a Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center (TSC) from The Joint Commission, in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).
Only hospitals that have met rigorous standards for performing mechanical endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), a specialized surgical procedure used to remove a blood clot from the brain during an acute ischemic stroke, are eligible for TSC certification. Mills-Peninsula is the second hospital in Northern California to receive this certification.
“A great deal of work went into achieving this designation, and I congratulate the teams that made this possible,” said Janet Wagner, CEO of MPMC. “At MPMC we are committed to serving our community, and having this level of care and expertise right in Burlingame will make a difference in countless lives, both now and for years to come.”
When used in conjunction with the clot dissolving tissue plasminogen activator IV drug (Alteplase or tPA) and medical treatments, mechanical EVT can significantly reduce stroke-related disability and mortality. This procedure can also be used for some patients that cannot be treated with alteplase because too much time has passed since their symptoms started.
“The Joint Commission congratulates MPMC on this significant achievement which makes it a preferred location for transporting patients with suspected ischemic stroke,” said David Baker, M.D., MPH, FACP, executive vice president, Division of Health Care Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission.
Joint Commission surveyors visited MPMC in April and reviewed its program carefully in person. To be eligible for the certification, MPMC had to prove it met strict guidelines that include performing EVT on a minimum of 15 patients in the past year or 30 patients in the past two years, and the capability to perform EVT around the clock, seven days a week. The hospital’s primary neurointerventionists—the physicians who routinely perform emergency mechanical thrombectomy—also had to meet the highest standards of sub-specialty training.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and more than 87 percent of cases are ischemic strokes caused by a clot that cuts off blood flow to a part of the brain. These types of strokes are largely treatable if a patient gets to a hospital that can provide the right treatment in time.
Having good treatment options in San Mateo County is essential as stroke risk increases with age and the county population over age 65 is growing. According to the San Mateo County policy and planning division, by 2030, as many as one in four county residents may be over age 65.
Mills-Peninsula Medical Center was the first hospital in San Mateo County to earn accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center. It has a helipad landing for air ambulances and Northern California’s only mobile stroke unit, a specialized ambulance equipped to diagnose and begin treatment for stroke patients before they even arrive at the hospital.