The Stroke Center
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Our Stroke Center received and has maintained a Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers from the Joint Commission since 2011. This means we continue to achieve long-term success in our goal of improving stroke outcomes. And you can take comfort in understanding that our quality care is effectively managed to meet your unique, specialized needs.
If you or someone you know has ever had a stroke, you may be aware that a stroke can sometimes be life-threatening and requires immediate care.
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it and the brain cells die.
There are three main types of stroke:
- Hemorrhagic: Results from a weakened blood vessel that raptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain.
- TIA: Also called a mini-stroke and characterized as a “warning stroke.” It’s a temporary blockage caused by a clot and while usually not harmful, you should take it seriously and seek medical attention.
- Ischemic: Also known as clots. Occurs as a result of blockage within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain.
First and foremost, we encourage you to recognize the following sudden warning signs and symptoms:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (commonly on 1 side)
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache, neck pain or photophobia (light sensitivity) with no known cause
If the above applies to you, here’s what you expect from our multidisciplinary team approach to stroke care:
- Around-the-clock hours so our staff can provide you with the immediate care you need
- A dedicated group of clinicians including nurses, a stroke coordinator, a stroke neurologist, and physical, speech, and occupational therapists
- Swift, leading-edge diagnosis and treatment to help minimize the likelihood of loss of brain function and reduce long-term disability
- Clinical expertise and constant monitoring by our team
- Dedication to achieving the highest outcomes and continuously working to improve stroke care and treatment
Services we Offer at the Stroke Center
Diagnosis. Treatment. Support.
The Stamford Health Stroke Center recognizes individual needs of each patient so we can provide personalized, compassionate care. If we do suspect stroke, our team becomes involved rapidly, performing tests to determine the exact type, location, and cause. We also work to rule out any other possible disorders.
Here’s what you can expect from diagnosis all the way through support:
Prevention & Screenings
It all starts with education.
The Stamford Health Stroke Center conducts many community screenings at employee health fairs, churches, senior centers and other venues. These screenings help identify individuals who have certain risk factors for stroke. Some root causes and risk factors can include:
We aim to educate the public on the impact these risk factors can have on their health. If we determine an individual to be at risk, we can refer him or her to an appropriate specialist at the Stamford Health Stroke Center.
To help determine the type of stroke you might have, we use tools such as:
- Acute CT scan and CT angiography
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Ultrasound of the carotid artery CT angiography
These tests allow us to determine if there are blockages in blood vessels of the neck or brain. A primary focus in the early stages after a stroke is to determine why the stroke happened in the first place. If the root cause can be found and treated, it increases the chances of preventing a secondary (additional) stroke. That’s also in part why we make sure all patients with stroke routinely undergo cardiac monitoring.
Stroke Treatment and Rehabilitation
Stamford Health's Stroke Center offers two types of treatments for those with stroke.
1. Thrombectomy with "rapid software."
Stamford Health is the only facility in the region to offer this type of minimally invasive surgery that removes a blood clot from a brain artery. Thrombectomy is best for those suffering from ischemic strokes, and effective before the area of the brain is at risk or injured. Rapid software helps us analyze the brain and make this decision. The treatment can be provided 6, 8, 24, or more hours after the onset of symptoms.
2. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)
A “clot-busting” drug, to patients with stroke caused by a blockage. If administered within 4 ½ hours of stroke onset, blood flow to the brain can help be restored and symptoms can be improved. To receive this treatment, patients must be evaluated as soon as possible. If stroke symptoms are present, call 911 immediately.
Rehabilitation for Stroke
We are committed to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities resulting from any stroke. Our Van Munching inpatient rehabilitation program is designed to help stroke patients regain independent movement and the abilities needed to perform daily activities. Our medical and neurologic staff continues to monitor their progress every step of the way. Because of our belief in the importance of continuity of care, we make sure patients see the same neurologist during their inpatient treatment.