Overview

Before Stroke

Approximately every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke, a condition where blood stops flowing to part of your brain. A stroke is always a medical emergency, and it's critical that you seek emergency care as soon as possible after symptoms begin to avoid long-term disability, or even death.

Think FAST

The National Stroke Association’s acronym FAST can help you quickly determine whether someone is having a stroke:

  • F (Face): Ask the person to smile. Does one side of his or her face droop?
  • A (Arms): Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S (Speech): Ask for a simple phrase (such as,“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”) to be repeated. Is speech slurred or hard to understand?
  • T (Time): If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Time is critical

Never wait more than five minutes to dial 911 if you or a loved one experiences even one of the signs above. You could be having a stroke, even if you’re not experiencing all of the symptoms. And be sure to pay attention to the time. The responding emergency medical technician or emergency medical team at the hospital will need to know when the first symptom occurred.

If given within three or four hours of your first symptom, a special clot-busting medication called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) may help reduce long-term disability for the most common kind of stroke. The longer the flow of blood is cut off to your brain however, the greater the damage.

Leading-edge care

If you or someone you love experiences symptoms of stroke, know that leading-edge care is close by at Northwestern Medicine. We are home to highly trained physicians1, nurses and rehabilitation therapists specializing in stroke, along with the latest technology, and advanced research and clinical trials.

Northwestern Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center
The Northwestern Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center offers comprehensive care for stroke, including advanced diagnostic imaging, multi-modal treatment and rehabilitation for patients with stroke and cerebrovascular disease.

Physician specialists* at the Stroke Center have clinical and research expertise in:

  • Neurocritical care
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Interventional neuroradiology
  • Neurological rehabilitation

Members of the Stroke Center team work with specialists from the Shirley Ryan Abilitylab to optimize rehabilitation following stroke. Shirley Ryan Abilitylab physicians and occupational and physical therapists evaluate each patient's needs to help determine the most appropriate plan of care after discharge.

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital's new Wood-Prince Family Stroke Center enables Northwestern Medicine to enhance our existing stroke care and advance the emergency care we provide to residents of Lake County.

Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) has been awarded the Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center designation by The Joint Commission. This level of certification recognizes the significant resources in staff, training and state-of-the-art infrastructure that comprehensive stroke centers must have to treat complex cases, including:

  • Round-the-clock access to advanced imaging capabilities and treatment options including IVt-PA clot-dissolving medication, endovascular interventions and clinical trials
  • Staff who are educated to care for complex stroke patients throughout the continuum of care, from EMS to discharge
  • A specially trained multi-disciplinary team* to coordinate individualized post-hospital care and goals for each patient
  • 24/7 access to a comprehensive stroke team* that includes neurologists, interventional neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, neuro intensivists, neuro rehabilitation specialists, nurses, therapists, case managers and social workers

Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital has been awarded the Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification by The Joint Commission. This certification recognizes that the services provided have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes. It is a signal to the community that the quality of care provided is effectively managed to meet the unique and specialized needs of the stroke patients. Services provided include:

  • Round-the-clock access to advanced imaging capabilities and treatment with IVt-PA clot-dissolving medication
  • Staff educated in the care of stroke patients throughout the continuum of care, from EMS to discharge     
  • Board-certified physicians* including neurologists and neurosurgeons
  • Rehabilitation services throughout the continuum of care including post discharge

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Legal Information
1

In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, some of the physician(s) and/or individual(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliate organizations. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.

2

By clicking on these websites, you are leaving the Northwestern Medicine website. These websites are independent resources. Northwestern Medicine does not operate or control the content of these websites. By visiting these websites, you agree to this third party’s terms of use for their website.