Antelope Valley Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get with the Guidelines” stroke bronze quality achievement award.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to implementing high standards of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive nationally accepted treatment and recommendations.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the ‘Get with the Guidelines’ award addresses the important element of time,” Antelope Valley Hospital CEO Edward Mirzabegian said in a prepared statement.

He said the hospital developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

To receive the award, the hospital had to consistently follow the treatment guidelines for 90 days. The evaluation period is the first in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.

Mirzabegian said the time is right for Antelope Valley to focus on stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to the aging population.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Judy Temes