The Stroke Center team is immediately contacted and preparations are made for testing. Clot-busting thrombolytics or tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) is given to select stroke patients, according to established medical guidelines.
Stroke patients continue treatment in one of the Center’s intensive care units, being closely monitored before transferring to step-down units or a general floor. In addition, they begin work with speech, occupational and physical therapists shortly after admission. The stroke team works closely with Rehabilitation to make sure the transition goes smoothly.
Most importantly, patients continue under the care of their Stroke Center neurologist even after discharged, providing critical continuity of care.
Besides clot-busting TPA, SLR’s Stroke Center is one of the select centers in New York City that offers intra-arterial thrombolysis, a treatment that can be given to select patient hours after the onset of symptoms. Intra-arterial thrombolysis uses a catheter, inserted into one of the major blood vessels in the leg and guided by a special video system, to inject TPA or a similar clot-dissolving agent directly into clots in the brain.
If a clot must be removed to restore blood flow to the brain or if a broken blood vessel must be repaired, the Stroke Center teams with SLR’s renown Department of Neurosurgery and Endovascular Surgery to schedule necessary procedures. Surgical treatments include:
After emergency treatment and when a stroke patient’s condition stabilizes, the Stroke Center focuses care on rehabilitation and preventing another stroke. Critical for success is controlling risk factors, such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Stroke Center neurologists work with a patient’s primary care physician to control these conditions with medication, such as blood thinners, statins to lower cholesterol or various medicines to control blood pressure.
Starting a rehabilitation program as soon as possible increases a patient’s recovery. Lifestyle changes also reduce the risk of another stroke. They can include exercise, eating a more balanced diet and smoking cessation.
Depression can occur in people who have had a stroke, so patients also may be treated with medication if they show symptoms of this condition.
St. Luke’s Hospital
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