All Allina Health hospitals have
access to stroke neurology specialists either in person or via TeleStroke 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
As soon as the symptoms of stroke begin, it is very important to call
911. The sooner someone experiencing stroke can get to an emergency department,
the better their chances are to get treatment that can reverse the stroke
process, limit potential injury or save their life.
The first few hours are a
window of opportunity for ischemic stroke since the loss of blood flow
(ischemia) may not yet have caused permanent damage. Treatments that help to
dissolve clots and restore blood flow can result in significant improvement in the
stroke patient’s condition if given early.
In the case of a hemorrhagic stroke,
in the early hours after symptoms begin, the hemorrhage may still get larger.
Early treatment measures may help to limit this increase in size and therefore
limit some of the damage.
At an Allina Health hospital, if someone experiencing stroke
arrives in time for early treatment choices to have an impact, evaluation may
be expedited by something called a Stroke Code. This is a process that
rapidly assembles a team of people to the bedside.
This team’s sole purpose is
to quickly complete the initial evaluation so that time-sensitive treatment
choices are given as quickly as possible (if appropriate). When a stroke is suspected, diagnosis is made
by a neurologist who specializes in stoke. He or she reviews the patient’s
symptoms, medical history, physical exam and test results.
The initial emergency department experience often includes: