HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest is now a comprehensive stroke center

HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest recently announced that it attained Comprehensive Stroke Certification from The Joint Commission, which is the nation’s oldest and largest healthcare accreditation organization.

The hospital has 423 licensed beds and was formerly known as Houston Northwest Medical Center. It’s located at 710 Cypress Creek Parkway, Houston TX 77090.

Types of stroke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year 800,000 people have a stroke in the United States. There are two major types of stroke:

• Ischemic stroke: Accounting for 87% of all strokes, these are caused by a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the brain.

• Hemorrhagic stroke: These are caused by bleeding in the brain.

Comprehensive stroke centers and medical malpractice

Comprehensive stoke certification means that HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest has demonstrated its potential capabilities to handle the most complicated stroke patients.

Under Texas medical malpractice law, the standard of care applicable to a hospital and medical staff depends on a number of factors. Two of the most important factors are the type of stroke and the timing of how fast a patient got to the hospital emergency room (ER) for treatment.

Ischemic strokes can often be treated with tPA, a clock-busting medication that can restore blood flow. While the treatment window can be as wide as 4.5 hours from the onset of stroke symptoms, in some circumstances, the legal window is much smaller. From a practical perspective, we have found that a patient must be in the hospital ER within around 100 minutes from the first stroke symptoms in order to meet the legal standard of proof.

Physicians also sometimes treat ischemic strokes with a surgical procedure called thrombectomy, which involves mechanical removal of the blood clot and blockage.

Hemorrhagic strokes are not treated with tPA because the medication could cause more bleeding. The standard of care for these cases is more difficult to prove.

In some cases, there’s a hemorrhagic transformation of an ischemic stroke into a  hemorrhagic stroke. This is an additional factor to consider when analyzing whether a stroke center complies with standards of care.

Because of the complexity of stroke medical malpractice cases under Texas law, some lawyers do not accept any cases at all. This is underscored by the fact that most stroke care happens in hospital ERs, which means the willful and wanton negligence legal standard of proof applies because of Texas tort reform laws. Some stroke medical malpractice cases are simply impossible to pursue under current law. Others are viable, though.

If you’ve been seriously injured because of poor stroke care in Texas, then contact a top-rated and experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney for a free strategy session about your potential case.

Robert Painter
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Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him for a free consultation and strategy session by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.