Comprehensive Stroke Center
Across the network we have 4 comprehensive stroke centers offering award-winning stroke care and providing quality care in stroke prevention, stroke management, and stroke rehabilitation. Every 40 seconds in the United States someone has a stroke, making it the fifth leading cause of death among adults. Our centers are equipped with some of the latest diagnostic and therapeutic advances to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat stroke patients. Patients benefit from a range of comprehensive medical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options, as well as access to clinical trials and research.
Our multidisciplinary teams of physicians and specialists includes emergency medicine physicians, neurohospitalists, vascular neurosurgeons, interventional neurologists, neuroradiologists, intensivists, rehabilitation specialists and nurses with advanced training. Upon arrival, the teams at each of the facilities work together to provide every patient with a comprehensive evaluation and collaborative management.
What is Stroke?
A stroke is an emergency requiring immediate medical attention. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, causing brain cells to begin dying from lack of oxygenated blood.
There are two major kinds of stroke:
- Ischemic Stroke -The most common, is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel or artery in the brain. This clot causes a region of the brain to be deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients, leading to death of brain cells.
- Hemorrhagic Stroke – This type of stroke is caused by a blood vessel breaking and bleeding into the brain. Two types of weakened blood vessels that typically cause hemorrhagic stroke are aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
- Brain Aneurysms- A brain aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel develops a weak area in the wall that allows the vessel to balloon out and fill with blood.
- Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) - AVMs happen when a group of blood vessels in your body forms incorrectly. In these malformations, arteries and veins are unusually tangled.
Stroke Signs and Symptoms
- A sudden, severe headache
- Loss of sensation in part of the body
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in vision
- Facial paralysis
- Drooping eyelids
- Problems speaking
- Changes in a sense of smell
- Problems with motion
- Loss of consciousness
If you experience any of the stroke signs, or identify the signs in someone else, act F.A.S.T. and dial 911. Use the National Stroke Association’s F.A.S.T. test to help you remember the warning signs and symptoms of stroke:
- Face - Facial weakness – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- Arms- Arm weakness – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech- Speech problems – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can the patient repeat the sentence correctly?
- Time- If a person is having trouble with these basic commands, call 911 immediately.
Use F.A.S.T. to help you remember the signs.
Strokes are fast. We’re faster. The Advanced Neuroscience Network treats all strokes as a medical emergencies. When a stroke patients arrives in our emergency rooms, our stroke teams are activated and ready to provide our patients with rapid treatment. Most strokes are caused by blood clots plugging a blood vessel or artery in the brain. This type of stroke may be treated with a clot busting drug called IV tPA (intravenous tissue plasminogen activator). The drug has been found to be most effective when administered within three hours of symptom onset. Time is extremely important when stopping a stroke in progress and minimizing the potential damage. Our hospital administers IV tPA in stroke patients faster than other Florida hospitals.
Our Interventional Neurology teams provide a minimally invasive, endovascular approach to treating strokes, aneurysms, and neurovascular diseases of the brain and spine. Using catheters and radiology, our interventional neurologists perform minimally invasive procedures, such as stent placement and embolization.
These procedures are performed under the guidance of advanced X-ray monitors. Recent advances in imaging capabilities enable our highly-trained interventional neurologists to treat blocked arteries of the brain by removing, breaking-up, or even sucking out the blood clot.
Our facilities have invested millions of dollars in the latest neurointerventional equipment and devices. With the assistance of this equipment, our physicians are dedicated to saving lives and allowing patients to return to a normal life, in some cases without any loss of function.
Across the network, the following endovascular procedures are available:
- Thrombolytic therapy- This procedure uses the clot busting drug called IV tPA (intravenous tissue plasminogen activator) to treat qualifying acute ischemic stroke patients.
- Endovascular Coiling (Embolization) - This procedure is used to treat brain aneurysms at risk for rupturing. Our Interventional Neurologist inserts a catheter into a groin artery and uses advanced imaging to guide the catheter into the affected brain artery. A coil, thin metal wire shaped like a spring, is deployed into the artery, blocking blood flow into a brain aneurysm. The coil is left in place permanently in the aneurysm.
- Cerebral angiography (Angiogram) - This procedure allows our Interventional Neurologists view how blood is flowing within the brain. Our Interventional Neurologist inserts a catheter into a large blood vessel and injects contrast dye. The contrast dye causes the blood vessels to appear on the X-ray image.
- Carotid artery angioplasty/stenting- This procedure is used to treat carotid artery stenosis. Carotid artery stenosis is the narrowing in one or both of the carotid arteries caused by the buildup of plaque on the inside of the artery. During this procedure, our Interventional Neurologists inserts a catheter into a groin artery and guides the catheter to the affected carotid artery in your neck. A small balloon at the tip of the catheter is then inflated to clear the passage way. In some cases, a stent (tiny mesh tube) may be placed in the affected to area to keep the artery open.