Time is Brain: A Timeline
Upstate has partnered with area EMS agencies to ensure the highest and most efficient level of quality communication. This partnership allows EMS to notify the Emergency physician and the stroke team prior to arrival which ensures the fastest treatment times possible.
In the ED
Upon arrival, a potential stroke patient is immediately evaluated by both an Emergency Physician as well as a Stroke neurologist. After a quick evaluation, the patient is taken for an emergency CT scan of the brain. Once this testing is complete, the stroke neurologist will complete an in depth neurological examination. Based on the CT scan results, the exam plus an in-depth past medical/surgical history, the physician may decide to give a clot busting medication called tPA or Alteplase.
Some patients may also be able to be treated with a procedure to remove the clot and to reopen the blood vessel. This procedure is available at specialized stroke centers, such as Upstate Comprehensive Stroke Center.
If bleeding is found on the CT scan, also known as hemorrhagic stroke, treatment depends on its location and severity. These types of stroke can often be managed with medications and careful monitoring and blood pressure control. Other times, surgery is indicated.