Health:  Floyd honored by American Heart Association with ‘gold plus achievement.’ Blood Assurance continues free testing for COVID-19 antibodies to blood donors through September.

Health: Floyd honored by American Heart Association with ‘gold plus achievement.’ Blood Assurance continues free testing for COVID-19 antibodies to blood donors through September.

Media release: Floyd Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for 2020. It marks the fourth consecutive year the hospital has been in the Gold category.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines founded in the latest scientific evidence. The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.

Floyd is also recognized on the association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. Hospitals are required to meet specific criteria that improve medication adherence, provide early follow-up care and coordination, and enhance patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

Floyd earned the Get With The Guidelines award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Floyd is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients with heart failure by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-HF initiative,” said Lee Clevenger, Floyd’s Director of Critical Care and Cardiovascular Services.“The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

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Blood Assurance continues to offer free testing for COVID-19 antibodies to blood donors through September. There also is a need for O-positive, O-negative, B-negative, A-positive, and AB-negative red cell donors as well as platelet donors.

“We are happy we can continue offering antibody testing to all area donors in order to help collect information about exposure to coronavirus in our area,” said Dr. Liz Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “If you believe you had COVID-19 and did not get tested, we invite you to donate blood and be tested for the antibodies with Blood Assurance. Much is still unknown about the antibodies to coronavirus, and we are glad we are able to contribute information to the medical community.”

Donors need to be aware this is not a diagnostic test for COVID-19 infection and if they believe they may be currently infected to please not give blood and instead consider visiting a healthcare provider. It is possible for this test to provide a falsely negative or falsely positive result and not all people make antibodies when exposed to COVID-19. What a positive test indicates is that the donor may currently have or previously had COVID-19 and have developed antibodies to the virus.

Blood Assurance also encourages anybody who receives a positive test to continue taking all CDC recommended steps to protect themselves and others from the infection by wearing a mask, social distancing and frequently washing hands. It is currently unknown if the presence of these antibodies will protect the body from contracting COVID-19 again or how long the antibodies remain in the blood.

Blood Assurance is also asking all donors to please wear a mask at their next donation. Blood Assurance will be providing masks for donors if they do not have one with them.

For more: Blood Assurance.

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