Newsroom Cox Barton achieves Level III Stroke Center designation Posted by Janell Patton on Feb. 4, 2022 Cox Barton County Hospital is now a designated Level III Stroke Center in the state of Missouri.The Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) system through the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services is a statewide emergency medical care response system aimed at providing a quicker response and higher quality care when a time critical emergency happens in three specialties: trauma, stroke and STEMI. The goal is to create consistent, statewide rules and regulations to help EMS, EMTs and hospital personnel to ensure patients are being transported to and treated by the most appropriate facility for their needs.Cox Barton is one of only 29 hospitals in the state to achieve this prestigious Level III Stroke Center designation.“A stroke is a time critical medical emergency requiring a rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment,” says Dr. Jeremy Sturgell, medical director of the Cox Barton County Emergency Department. “Patients must receive care within the shortest amount of time to minimize injury to the brain to improve prognosis—these are the same patients who could be your loved ones, neighbors or friends.”The TCD system implements four levels of hospital designation across the state, with Level I considered the highest based on services offered. Once a hospital completes the rigorous process to become a designated stroke center, hospitals are then required to meet strict state guidelines and undergo a rigorous survey every four years. The Level III status indicates Cox Barton provides access into CoxHealth system and provides important patient care in a non-metropolitan area, generally referring to a higher level center for definitive care.It's important to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Call 9-1-1 right away if you or someone else has any of the following symptoms:Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.Sudden severe headache with no known cause.“I can’t say enough about the multidisciplinary team we assembled to work on this designation, which has already proven to quicken response times and improve survival rates and patient outcomes,” says Sturgell. “This incredible team worked on and implemented protocols over a two-year period to achieve this designation because it was the right thing to do for the hospital and our community.”Click here to learn more about stroke services available at CoxHealth, including a free online quiz to see if you’re at risk.