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Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center

News & Recent Medical Advances

BMC House Staff win 2015 Quality Improvement award for Stroke Neurology Handbook

Our residents won the “Quality, Safety and Patient Experience Award.” 

The Neurology Clinical Handbook was developed to standardize the initial step wise approach of patients with Neurological emergencies, such as status epilepticus, ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke and status migrainosus. It was also developed to promote adherence to treatment guidelines through the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-S) quality improvement initiative. In July 2014, the Neurology Clinical Handbook was distributed to first year residents. The methodology included Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle focused on content within the handbook, usefulness of the handbook assessed by resident reporting and a chart review of first-year Neurology residents’ GWTG-S quality measures documentations.  At three and six months a user survey was distributed among the Neurology residents. All of the respondents felt the handbook included pertinent information for the stroke rotation and used the handbook as a tool to evaluate stroke patients in the emergency department at Boston Medical Center. First year residents were more likely to adequately document four out of seven AHA/ASA GWTG-S quality measures. The handbook was revised and a second edition was developed and distributed in July 2015.

Our residents won the “Quality, Safety and Patient Experience Award.” 

In October 2015, the Quality, Safety and Patient Experience Week Poster Selection Committee awarded the poster, Improving Care Among Stroke Patients Through a Resident-Based Neurology Handbook, with the House Staff Award. 

MR CLEAN, ESCAPE, EXTEND IA, and SWIFT PRIME studies demonstrate clinical benefit for intra-arterial stroke treament in select patients with large vessel occlusion.

For the first time, the Netherland-sponsored randomized controlled trial MR CLEAN demonstrated superior clinical benefit of intra-arterial therapy compared to standard medical therapy in acute ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusion. Most patients presenting in this study received IV tPA, and of those allocated in the intra-arterial arm, most patients were treated with a stent retriever.

At the International Stroke Conference in Nashville, TN (February 2015), additional studies confirmed benefit of intra-arterial stroke therapy in the ESCAPE, EXTEND IA and SWIFT PRIME studies. Clinical benefit was seen in 53-70% of patients treated in the interventional group compared to 30-40% of control patients. In April 2015, the REVASCAT study was presented at the American Academy of Neurology Meeting in Washington DC and also demonstrated clinical benefit of endovascular therapy for large vessel occlusion stroke.

The MR CLEAN, ESCAPE, EXTEND IASWIFT PRIME and REVASCAT studies herald an exciting new era for acute ischemic stroke therapy. This therapy is offered to eligible stroke patients with large vessel occlusion at BMC by the Stroke and Neurointerventional teams.

BMC Neurology Team awarded 2014 BMC House Staff Quality Improvement (QI) Award for Acute Stroke Simulation

Congratulations to Dr. Jami Johnsen, Dr. Luciana Catanese, Dr. Julie Grimes, Dr. Benjamin Saunders, Dr. Hesham Masoud and Ms. Judith Clark on winning the BMC house staff QI Award! The Quality & Patient Safety Week Poster Selection Committee announced their poster "Improving Resident Performance in Acute Stroke Management Through Simulation Based Training," was selected to receive the 2014 BMC House Staff QI Award.

Judith Clark, BMC Stroke Coordinator, is awarded 2014 AHA SCORE Star Award

In June 2014, Ms. Clark was awarded the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association SCORE (Stroke Collaborative Reaching for Excellence) Star award. She was selected by her SCORE peers as the first of three finalists for the award. The SCORE Star Award was developed in 2011 to recognize a stroke coordinator who has demonstrated leadership among his/her peers. The collaborative model, which serves as the framework for SCORE, relies on shared learning among participants. SCORE members share best practices and tools through formal presentations and networking. Ms. Clark has been a true leader in SCORE and the program has benefited from her passion and commitment to stroke care. She has presented to the group on many occasions and most recently has been involved in the development and implementation of stroke training for skilled nursing facility staff. 

BMC Receives 2013 SCORE Defect-Free Care Award and the Highest Performer on NIH Stroke Scale Award

The Stroke Collaborative Reaching for Excellence (SCORE) is a stroke registry and quality improvement initiative implemented as a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines.

Boston Medical Center was awarded the 2013 Defect-Free Care (>80% of stroke patients) award and the Highest Performer on NIH Stroke Scale (Large Volume) Award.  The defect-free care measure demonstrates the pecent of patients receiving all of the interventions for which they were eligible. The defect-free care measure inludes ten stroke consensus measures, such as deep venous prophylaxis, discharge on antithrombotic therapy, anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation, smoking cessation counseling, antithrombotic therapy by end of hospital day 2, discharged on statin, stroke education, rehabilitation assessment, and dysphagia screening. Data from October 2011 to September 2012 were analyzed for this award.


Patient Story:  After a Stroke, Family Matriarch Looks Toward the Future

On December 28, 2009, Barbara Hackett woke up in her South Boston apartment near Carson Beach with the same intention she has every morning. “I woke up to put the kettle on for a cup of tea, but I found that I couldn’t get up and fell down out of bed. I don’t remember anything after that,” she said... It was her neighbor who found her on the floor paralyzed and unable to speak,” remembered Wendy, her calm voice slightly quavering.

The neighbor called 911, and the ambulance delivered Barbara to Boston Medical Center, where she was quickly triaged as a stroke victim. Each minute became critical for Barbara’s prognosis. Dr. Thanh Nguyen, director of interventional neuroradiology and interventional neurology at BMC, oversaw Barbara’s treatment.
Read more

BMC Receives Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for Stroke Care

Boston Medical Center was recognized for its achievement in implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The GuidelinesSM (GWTG) for stroke care. This level of achievement shows BMC’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for stroke patients. Read more

Boston Medical Center offering Cyberknife Radiosurgery to
treat Brain AVM and Tumors

Physicians at Boston Medical Center (BMC) are now offering patients an alternative to surgery for hard to reach brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and tumors. The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery system is a non-invasive treatment for benign or cancerous tumors located nearly anywhere in the body.  Read more

ECASS 3 study extends IV tpa time window for acute stroke
to 4.5 hours

Results of a study suggest that treatment with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator given 3 to 4.5 hours after symptom onset can provide improvement in clinical outcomes after an acute ischemic stroke.

New England Journal of Medicine abstract
Lyden editorial: Thrombolytic therapy for stroke - not a moment to lose 

Study finds a high rate of silent stroke

Routine brain scans in a group of middle-aged people showed that 10 percent had suffered a stroke without knowing it, raising their risk for further strokes and memory loss. Read more

Prevalence and Correlates of Silent Cerebral Infarcts in the Framingham Offspring Study

Silent cerebral infarctions, also termed covert infarcts or simply MRI infarcts, are parenchymal lesions that have the MRI characteristics of previous infarcts but
have not been associated in that individual with clinical signs or symptoms corresponding to a stroke. Read more 

CHD and Stroke Death Rates Declining, but Will They Continue to?

New mortality data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that, since 1999, death rates from coronary heart disease and stroke have fallen by about 25%.

New Stroke Treatment Vacuums Blood Clots

It is a tiny vacuum cleaner for the brain: A new treatment for stroke victims promises to suction out clogged arteries in hopes of stopping the brain attack before it does permanent harm. Read more


The Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Boston Medical Center (BMC) is committed to furthering the evidence-based practice for cerebrovascular disease, developing research protocols and collaborating with other institutions for NIH-funded projects. Most of the research projects at BMC are in the form of a clinical trial, where patients with stroke are invited to participate by taking a new medication.


Call: 617.638.8456
Fax: 617.638.8465
Email: stroke@bmc.org

Boston Medical Center
Department of Neurology
Shapiro Center
7th Floor, Suite 7B
725 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02118

For Research Information

Contact Helena Lau,
Call: 617.414.1171
Fax: 617.638.5354
stroke@bmc.org or

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