Stroke Care Team

The Stroke Team at St. Mary’s Hospital provides complete comprehensive care from a variety of specialty trained individuals.  The stroke care begins from the time a stroke patient enters the door.

Treatment for a stroke will begin as soon as the patient arrives, as the patients travels immediately to Radiology for a CT scan of the head with results obtained from the radiologist within minutes of completion.

The nurses and physicians within the Emergency Department follow a specialized set of guidelines as recommended by the American Stroke and Heart Association, which are reviewed on a regular basis by specialists world-wide.  This ensures patients at St. Mary’s are provided with the most up-to-date stroke guidelines available.  Every nurse at St. Mary’s receives specialized training to care for stroke patients.

While the patient is still in the Emergency Doom, the emergency physician will make contact with a neurologist, neurosurgeon or a vascular surgeon based upon the results of the patients CT scan. Decisions of care are made within 45 minutes of arrival based upon CT scan, lab results, and patient’s overall condition.

Timing is of particular importance as patients who present within 3 hours of symptom onset are prime candidates for the drug t-PA. The drug, t-PA helps dissolves clots and restores blood flow to the brain tissue that is dying from lack of oxygen.

Continuum of care is then followed as the patient is admitted to a nursing unit.  While on a nursing unit, patients receive specialized stroke education and speech, occupational, and physical therapy evaluation. Treatment plans are developed for each individualized stroke survivor. Dietitians evaluate and provide recommendation on dietary needs. Pastoral services visits patients and are available needed. Other services include a Neuropsychologist and Massage therapist.

Once the stroke survivor is ready for extensive rehabilitation services, a referral and transfer to the Advanced Rehabilitation Center occurs.  While on ARC and post discharge from ARC, the team is available to provide resources and help stroke survivors and their families cope with the emotional, spiritual and social impact of stroke.