Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Dr. Cassandra Taylor
Strokes are a significant source of morbidity and mortality in pregnant women, influenced by the physiologic changes in pregnancy and the trend of older and sicker women becoming pregnant. Despite the role of stroke in pregnant women, emergency departments in specialized maternity hospitals may not be as experienced in stroke recognition and care as are typical emergency departments. The purpose of this project was to create a protocol to facilitate rapid assessment and treatment of pregnant and postpartum women with symptoms of stroke in a maternity emergency department. The IOWA model of evidence-based practice to promote quality care guided a systematic review of literature in a quality improvement process. An interdisciplinary team developed the code stroke protocol through discussions that incorporated National Stroke Association guidelines into the policies and procedures of a southwestern maternity hospital. Deliverables to the hospital included a decision-making algorithm with treatment inclusion/exclusion criteria. An informational poster was developed to facilitate implementation of the protocol at a later time. Patient charts will be reviewed, comparing actual patient management to timeline benchmarks, in order to evaluate the code stroke protocol. The code stroke protocol can decrease morbidity and mortality by reducing stroke as a pregnancy complication, consistent with Healthy People 2020 goals and contributing to positive social change.