Stroke is the number 5 leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in America.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bringing blood and oxygen to the brain gets blocked or ruptures and brain cells don't get the flow of blood they need. Deprived of oxygen, nerve cells can't function and die within minutes. And when nerve cells don't function, the part of the body they control can't function either. The devastating effects of stroke are often permanent because dead brain cells can't be replaced.

What is a TIA?

TIA, or transient ischemic attack, is a "warning stroke" that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time. The symptoms of a TIA are the same as those of a stroke, but they usually last only a few minutes. About 15% of strokes are preceded by TIAs, so don't ignore a TIA. Call 911 or seek emergency medical attention immediately.

How is a stroke treated?

If a patient presents to the ER after experiencing stroke symptoms, the following methods may be used to treat their stroke:

  • Intravenous t-PA
    • When a stroke occurs, a patient may be a good candidate for t-PA, which is a drug that is injected into the blood stream to dissolve the blood clot causing the stroke.
  • Endovascular Procedures 
    • Strokes can sometimes be treated via endovascular procedures with the use of a catheter. Once inside the blood vessel, a physician can retrieve the clot from the brain or directly administer t-PA to the site of the stroke. Northside Hospital’s Neurointervention Suite has the capability to perform these procedures.

Learn to Recognize a Stroke

When it comes to a stroke, think FAST:

  • F: Face – Uneven smile or expression; facial droop; numbness in face
  • A: Arm – One arm drifts down; weakness and numbness
  • S: Speech – Slurred speech; use of wrong words; mute; gargled, strange speech
  • T: Time – TIME IS BRAIN. Every minute counts. CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.

Other symptoms include:

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

The sooner a patient arrives to the ER presenting with a stroke, the sooner treatment can be administered, lessening the chances of disability.

Why Northside Hospital?

  • Nationally Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV GL Healthcare
  • The first AHCA designated Comprehensive Stroke Center in St. Petersburg, and the 17th in the state
  • Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus (American Heart Association)
  • Interventional Neuroradiology program for minimally invasive treatment of stroke, cerebral aneurysms, and carotid artery occlusions
  • Tele-Stroke program for faster diagnostics and treatment plans
  • Neuro Intensive Care Unit and Neuroscience