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Stroke Care

Stroke Care

As the fifth highest cause of death in Oklahoma and the United States and the leading cause of disability stroke affects about 800,000 people in the United States each year. At OU Health, stroke treatment results meet or exceed national standards. Stroke care has significantly advanced during the last 25 years. A complex, multidisciplinary approach including timely evaluation in the emergency department, supportive management during hospitalization and optimal planning for rehabilitation is required to ensure the best possible outcome. We are proud to offer the highest level of stroke care at OU Health’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, setting high goals for administration of IV tPA within 30 minutes and endovascular thrombectomy within 60 minutes of patient arrival. Our patients are comprehensively evaluated to determine the cause of their stroke and offered inclusive rehabilitation program.

OU Health Comprehensive Stroke Center

Get expert care at the OU Health Comprehensive Stroke Center at University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City, the first hospital in Oklahoma to achieve certification for excellence in stroke care from The Joint Commission, a nationally recognized accrediting agency. In 2021, our Comprehensive Stroke Center was awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and the Association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Award. These achievements demonstrate that the care we provide follows the most stringent standards of stroke care supported by the most up to date, evidence-based practice.

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    View our OU Health locations and providers to find a stroke specialist that works best for you.

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    What are the Signs of Stroke?

    A stroke happens when blood stops flowing to your brain and damages surrounding cells. Every second counts. Recognize the signs of stroke—and get care now.

    • Balance – Sudden loss of Balance
    • Eyes – Sudden loss or changes Eye vision
    • Face – Facial droop, uneven smile
    • Arm – Arm or leg numbness or weakness
    • Speech – Slurred Speech, difficulty speaking or understanding
    • Time – Time to get help immediately — call 9-1-1 — and note the time when the person last seemed normal

    If you are a loved one experience these signs, BE FAST in seeking medical treatment by calling 911. Time is Brain and every second counts.

    What are the Types of Stroke?

    You or a loved one may experience one of three types of stroke:

    • Ischemic stroke (85%) – Results from blockage of a major blood vessel to the brain, usually caused by a blood clot; most common type of stroke
    • Hemorrhagic stroke (15%) – Occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or leaks and spills blood into nearby tissues or fluid spaces
      • Intracerebral hemorrhage (10%) – commonly happens from high blood pressure or weakened blood vessels.
      • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (5%) – commonly happens from aneurysm rupture.
    • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – Caused by temporary blockage; also called a 'mini stroke' or warning stroke and should be taken seriously

    Your age, family history, type and severity of stroke factor into determining the treatment you receive.

    Stroke Care at OU Health by Numbers for Year 2020:

    • Total strokes treated: 514
      • Ischemic strokes: 325
      • Hemorrhagic strokes: 182
        • Intracerebral hemorrhage: 139
        • Subarachnoid hemorrhage: 43
    • IV tPA (thrombolysis) for ischemic stroke: 42
      • Median time to receive IV tPA - 34 minutes (National Standard = 60 min)
      • IV tPA given within 45 minutes - 67%
    • Total endovascular procedures performed: 799
      • Endovascular thrombectomies - 112
      • Aneurysm coiling - 91
      • Carotid stent placement - 17
      • Diagnostic angiograms - 588
    • Stoke related surgeries: 105
      • Aneurysm clipping - 13
      • Carotid endarterectomy - 16
    • Mortality
      • Carotid endarterectomy or stent placement - 0%
      • Aneurysm clipping or coiling - 0%
      • Endovascular periprocedure stroke and death rate - 0%

    Advanced Stroke Care Close to Home

    We provide around-the-clock access to the latest imaging technology for the most accurate diagnosis:

    • Computed Tomography (CT)
    • CT-angiography (CTA)
    • CT-perfusion (CTP)
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA)

    At OU Health's Comprehensive Stroke Center, you benefit from the healthcare expertise and advanced infrastructure for stroke care, which includes the coordinated efforts of the:

    • Emergency department
    • Endovascular procedure (cath) lab
    • Neurosciences intensive care unit
    • Acute stroke unit
    • Acute rehab and social services

    All departments work together to enhance your outcome after a stroke while decreasing complications and length of your hospital stay.

    Your Expert Neuroscience Care Team

    At the OU Health Comprehensive Stroke Center, you'll work with some of the nation's most experienced neuroscience physicians. These board-certified and fellowship-trained vascular neurologists, vascular neurosurgeons, neurocritical care specialists, cardiologists, vascular surgeons and neuroradiologists collaborate as a multidisciplinary care team to treat the most complex instances of stroke in people of all ages. Our comprehensive stroke center has the only dual-trained neurosurgeons in the region with expertise in cerebrovascular conditions who regularly treat more complex situations than any other physicians in the area.

    Patient-Centered Care

    You and your OU Health neurosciences team work together to ensure you receive the most appropriate care so you can return to as much function as possible. You and your care team also create an individualized plan with activities ranging from lifestyle changes to sophisticated testing and treatment based on the latest scientific information to help decrease your risk and prevent future strokes. If needed, your OU Health team continues to work with you and your family after you leave the hospital.

    Stroke Treatments

    OU Health's Comprehensive Stroke Center offers emergent and elective medical and surgical care for all types of stroke. This includes:

    • Treatment of acute ischemic stroke:
      • Intravenous thrombolysis (IV tPA) – Clot-dissolving therapy for ischemic stroke
      • Endovascular thrombectomy – Emergent clot-removing procedure for ischemic stroke
    • Brain aneurysm treatment:
      • Endovascular aneurysm coiling
      • Open surgery for aneurysm clipping
    • Arteriovenous malformation treatment:
      • Endovascular embolization
      • Surgical resection
      • Gamma Knife® radiosurgery – Targeted radiation therapy
    • Revascularization procedures for prevention of ischemic stroke:
      • Carotid endarterectomy
      • Carotid endovascular stenting
      • Vertebral artery stenting
    • Treatment of moyamoya disease:
      • Direct revascularization procedure – bypass between temporal and middle cerebral artery
      • Indirect revascularization procedures including encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS), encephalomyosynangiosis (EMS) or a combination of both.
    • Treatment of post-stroke spasticity in order to improve function. Physician makes injections into affected muscles in order to improve passive movements in the arm and leg, improving walking and even muscular contractures.
    • Specialized blood-clotting tests: Comprehensive evaluations to determine unusual causes of stroke that don’t show up on routine tests. Our extensive expertise will interpret the specialized tests and properly treat the underlying disorders.

    Telestroke Digital Health Services

    No matter where you live in Oklahoma or across the five-state region, you can gain access to top-quality stroke care through local hospitals that participate in OU Health telestroke digital health services. Ask your hospital about live, real-time OU Health telestroke services available 24/7/365 that connect you within minutes to experienced stroke care experts at the OU Health Comprehensive Stroke Center. This fast action helps reduce the time needed to deliver clot-dissolving medications, if appropriate, and other stroke treatments or to quickly set up a transfer to higher levels of care, all of which improve your outcomes.

    Stroke Clinical Trials & Research

    We are proud to have an academic partnership with a world leading healthcare institution. Our patients may be part of prominent national and international clinical trials, which helps to advance the field of stroke and lead to the development of new treatments. OU Health's Comprehensive Stroke Center is a part of StrokeNet – The NIH sponsored network for recruitment of patients into clinical trials for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. This partnership allows for the opportunity of researching the newest technological methods. OU's research team also evaluates genetic causes of stroke in an effort to improve stroke care.

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