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The Brooklyn Hospital Center's multidisciplinary Stroke Center integrates the disciplines of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroradiology, Vascular Surgery, Cardiology, and Rehabilitation Medicine, as well as the Hospital Center's Emergency Department. Members of each of these departments and our Nursing Staff Coordinators collaborate to treat a range of acute and chronic vascular disorders.
On call 24/7, our skilled Stroke Team coordinates your care from the moment of first contact. Thrombolytic therapy and state of the art neuroimaging is available for all neurovascular emergencies. Comprehensive stroke treatment includes follow-up care and rehabilitation including appropriate occupational, speech therapy and educational materials for patients and their families.
Treating stroke quickly and effectively is the difference between life and death or permanent disability. In recognition that it has met the highest standard for the treatment of stroke patients including speed of treatment and cutting-edge treatment advances, The Brooklyn Hospital Center received Stroke Center designation from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) in 2006.
In 2011, 2012 and 2013 the Stroke Center was awarded the Gold Plus Achievement Award for high-quality stroke care from the American Heart and Stroke Associations. In addition, the program was placed on the Associations' "Honor Roll" for high stroke care performers--one of only three such programs in Brooklyn to receive this recognition.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America and the No. 1 cause of adult disability. Fully 80% of strokes are preventable!
A stroke or "brain attack" occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body).
When a stroke happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. If the symptoms of a stroke last only a short time (less than an hour), this is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke.
Abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost when brain cells die during a stroke. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.
The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is injured, and how severely it is injured. Strokes may cause sudden weakness, loss of sensation, or difficulty with speaking, seeing, or walking. Since different parts of the brain control different areas and functions, it is usually the area immediately surrounding the stroke that is affected. Sometimes people with stroke have a headache, but stroke can also be completely painless. It is very important to recognize the warning signs of stroke and get immediate medical attention if they occur. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
Stroke or brain attack is a sudden problem affecting the blood vessels of the brain. There are several types of stroke, and each type has different cause. The two main types of stroke are ischemic and intracerebral hemorrhage.
The most common type of stroke — accounting for almost 80% of all strokes — is caused by a clot or other blockage within an artery leading to the brain.
An intracerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke caused by the sudden rupture of an artery within the brain. Blood is then released into the brain, compressing brain structures.
The most common sign of stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body.
Other warning signs can include:
- Sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- 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 signs of a stroke depend on the side of the brain that is affected, the part of the brain, and how severely the brain is injured. Therefore, each person may have different stroke warning signs. Stroke may be associated with a headache, or may be completely painless.
If you or someone you know is having these signs, call 911 and seek medical help immediately. Stroke is a medical emergency. Treatment is available, but only if a stroke is recognized in time. DO NOT try or diagnose the problem by yourself, and DO NOT wait to see if the symptoms go away on their own.
Even if the symptoms pass quickly, they could be an important warning that requires prompt medical attention.
Anyone can have a stroke. But your chances for having a stroke increase if you meet certain criteria. Some of these criteria, called risk factors, are beyond your control — such as being over age 55, being male, being African American, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander, or having a family history of stroke. Other stroke risk factors are controllable.
National Stroke Association's (NSA's) stroke prevention guidelines will help you learn how you may be able to lower your risk for a first stroke.
The Stroke Prevention Guidelines were established by NSA's Stroke Prevention Advisory Board, an elite group of the nation's leading experts on stroke prevention. They were first published in a 1999 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and have been updated to reflect current medical standards.
NSA suggests you ask your doctor for advice on how to best use these guidelines.
Stroke Prevention Guidelines:
If you are diabetic...
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. Rehabilitation is an important part of recovering from a stroke. Through rehabilitation, you relearn or regain basic skills such as speaking, eating, dressing, and walking. The goal is to improve function so that you become as independent as possible.
Depending on the effects of your particular stroke, your health insurance coverage, and your budget, stroke rehabilitation options may include:
Rehabilitation actually starts in the hospital as soon as possible after the stroke. In patients who are stable, rehabilitation may begin within two days after the stroke has occurred, and should be continued as necessary after leaving the hospital.
The Stroke Center is part of TBHC's Division of Neurology, the mission of which is to provide modern care to patients with neurological disease, train medical students and residents, and translate advances in the basic and clinical sciences into meaningful therapies.