Think it’s a Stroke? Call 9-1-1!
During a stroke, “time is brain.” In fact, the National Stroke Association calls stroke, a “brain attack.” With that sense of urgency, the Stroke Care team is available around the clock to protect brain function and save lives for patients suffering from stroke.
Our team of neurologists, neurointerventional radiologists and neurosurgeons collaborates with the Emergency Department to begin stroke care the moment a patient arrives. Clot-dissolving medications, and clot removal by neurointerventional radiology catheterization give stroke patients a better chance for recovery.
Vascular surgeons, cardiologists, internal medicine, and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians are part of the Stroke Care team to provide a full range of treatment that includes neurocritical care in-hospital and rehabilitative care as necessary.
The Stroke Care team has trained regional emergency medical services, ambulance companies and fire departments to communicate in real time while a stroke patient is being transported to the hospital.
Metro Health – University of Michigan Health is on the clinical and technological forefront of immediate care for patients suffering from stroke. That means you and your family can rely on receiving comprehensive care for stroke close to where you live.
Types of Stroke
Ischemic stroke – the most common form of stroke occurs when a blood vessel is clogged, preventing blood from flowing to the brain. Timing is critical for treating patients with ischemic stroke. Clot-busting medication (tPA) can be administered if the patient arrives quickly and tPA can be started within 3 hours after the symptoms started (up to 4.5 hours in some cases).
Minimally-invasive procedures by a neurointerventional radiologist may remove the blood clot from clogged vessels.
During the patient assessment the Stroke Team will diagnose why the stroke occurred. Some common reasons include:
- Clot from the heart
- Blockage of the blood vessels going to the brain
- Irregular rhythm of the heart that causes a blood clot to form
- High levels of cholesterol causing blockage
Once we identify the cause of the stroke, proper medications are prescribed and we teach preventive measures to the patient and the family, that you can later be reviewed with the primary care physician.
Hemorrhagic stroke – or a “bleeding stroke” usually happens when a blood vessel becomes weak enough that it ruptures. High blood pressure is a major risk factor leading to blood vessel weakness. Sometimes the blood vessel weakness leads to the development of brain aneurysms (an area of the blood vessel wall bulging out). Aneurysms can be treated before they bleed either by open surgery to snap them shut with clips or minimally invasive surgery with coils.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – is also referred to as a “mini-stroke” or “warning stroke” and is a temporary interruption of the blood flow to an area of the brain. TIAs are an indication that a person is at risk for having a stroke.