Stroke Ready Team

Woodlawn Hospital is proud to be Stroke Ready certified by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP). Being Stroke Ready indicates that we have a highly trained team ready to quickly recognize when a patient has the signs and symptoms of a possible stroke. Tests are rapidly completed and, using a robust telemedicine platform, a neurologist can see the patient and their test results within minutes. The neurologist and the emergency physician collaborate to recommend the best treatment for the patient. With stroke, “Time Lost is Brain Lost”, and being “Stroke Ready” makes all the difference.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.

Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States.

Types of Stroke

Ischemic Stroke (Clot) An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked. The main cause of ischemic stroke is atherosclerosis, or fatty deposits lining the blood vessel walls. The clot may originate in the brain or come from another part of the body. For instance, an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) can cause a blood clot in the heart (embolism) that travels to the brain and causes a stroke. Ischemic strokes make up about 87% of all strokes. Learn more here. Hemorrhagic Stroke (Bleed) Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 13% of stroke cases. Caused by a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain, blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue. This restricts healthy flow of blood (and oxygen). Learn more here. Transient Ischemic Attack (“Mini-stroke”) TIA is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. Because it’s temporary and doesn’t leave lasting damage, people often ignore this major warning. As many as 20% of patients who suffer from an ischemic stroke have a TIA first. Learn more about Stroke at

Symptoms of a Stroke

Time is critical when blood flow to the brain is limited, so recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke and seeking care quickly can make a big difference in recovery. Key Symptoms of Stroke can be easily remembered with BE FAST. Any one of these SUDDEN signs: *Balance (Look for sudden loss of balance) *Eyes (Check for vision loss/double vision) *Face (Look for an uneven smile/facial droop) *Arm (Check if one arm is weak, suddenly) *Speech (Listen for slurred speech) Learn more about the 10 Signs and Symptoms of Stroke. Remember, Time Lost is Brain Lost so call 911 right away if you suspect stroke.

Stroke Alert

When a patient comes to our Emergency Department and the team thinks they may have had a stroke, Stroke Alert is called. A rapid response team quickly gathers information about the patient’s history and current presentation, takes images of the patient’s brain, measures important blood levels and consults with the neurologist. Within minutes, the emergency physician and neurologist determine the next best steps for the patient. Depending on the test results and severity of symptoms, a “clot busting” medication may be given to bust up the clot and return blood flow to the brain. You’re in good hands with Woodlawn’s Stroke Ready team.

Risk Factors

The best treatment for a stroke is to prevent having one. Know your risk factors and make necessary changes today. Some risk factors can be controlled or treated, like high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, diet, physical inactivity, obesity, high cholesterol, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease, and atrial fibrillation.

High Blood Pressure is the #1 Controllable Risk Factor for Stroke

Other risk factors are not within your control. These include age (over 65), a family history of stroke, race (African-Americans are at increased risk), gender (women have more strokes and die more often from stroke), personal history of having a prior stroke, TIA, or heart attack. Learn more about decreasing your risk here.
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