Cy-Fair Hospital Achieves Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center 
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital 
Friday, 12 December 2008 

Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for stroke care and was awarded the certification as a Primary Stroke Center. Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital is one of only 6 hospitals in the city of Houston to achieve this advanced certification and the only hospital in the Cy-Fair area to receive this distinction.

When someone is having a stroke, they need prompt emergency medical care. During a stroke blood supply to the brain is cut off or disrupted, causing part of the brain to go without the oxygen-rich blood it needs. The longer the brain goes without blood, the greater the chance a disability will occur. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number one cause of disability in adults and the third leading cause of death in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.

Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital’s comprehensive cardiovascular and stroke program has a protocol driven and systematic approach to patient management allowing physicians to reduce the time to treatment during the early stages of a heart attack or stoke, when treatments are most effective. “Our patient-centered approach to assessing and diagnosing stroke allows us to promptly begin the appropriate treatment,” says Michael Dang, MD, medical director of the Emergency Department at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. “We are committed to improving the long-term health of our patients.”

The Stroke Team at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital, a team of specially trained physicians, nurses and staff, is called to action when a patient is exhibiting symptoms of a stroke. The team consults with highly trained neurologists, called Specialists on Call, via an advanced telecommunications system, referred to as telemedicine, to review each stroke patient’s condition and to quickly establish a course of treatment with the qualified specialists.

Specialists on Call provides consultation support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to hospitals and on-site physicians nationwide, with access to experts in emergency neurology and stroke care. Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital is the only hospital in northwest Houston working with Specialists on Call for stroke treatment, an important factor in being able to offer quality stroke care to the community.

If evaluation by the Stroke Team and Specialists on Call shows that the patient’s stroke is the result of a blood clot blocking a vein in the brain - an ischemic stroke - then tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busting drug, can be given to help break up the clot. The team’s goal is to begin tPA within three hours of the first symptoms of a stroke. Treatment with tPA can only be used for ischemic strokes, which account for about 87 percent of all strokes, and not hemorrhagic strokes, a stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel.

“Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital has demonstrated that our program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients,” said Cindy Hudgens, RN, BSN, CNRN, Cardiovascular and Stroke Coordinator. “Our team is committed to clinical excellence, and the Primary Stroke Center certification is proof of their tremendous efforts.”

In addition to certification as a Primary Stroke Center, Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital is designated as an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. The hospital has also received a five-star rating for the treatment of stroke four years in a row (2006-2009) and was ranked among the top 5 hospitals in Texas for overall critical care in 2008 by HealthGrades, a leading independent health care ratings company.

The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association's statements and guidelines for stroke care. A list of programs certified by The Joint Commission is available at

“We are pleased that our hospital has received the Primary Stroke Center Certification from the Joint Commission,” said Terry Wheeler, chief executive officer of Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital.  “This designation recognizes our dedication to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community.”

To learn more about stroke and the quality care at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital, call 1-800-681-2733 or visit