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Stroke

A-Z Index

stroke

A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to any part of the brain. It is sometimes called a "brain attack." A stroke can cause permanent paralysis and affect a person's ability to walk, talk and even breathe.

More than 700,000 Americans experience a new or recurrent stroke each year—approximately one person every 45 seconds. While stroke is the leading cause of disability in adults, early intervention can help stop the damage a stroke can cause.

Virtua offers comprehensive care for stroke patients and for those who may be at risk. Starting in the emergency room, Virtua's stroke teams use the latest technology, including teleneurology, to quickly diagnose and begin life-saving treatment. Teleneurology is state-of-the-art technology that provides emergency room physicians round-the-clock access to neurologists via real-time, two-way audio and video communication.

Beyond emergency room evaluation and treatment, Virtua's stroke teams deliver life-saving stroke services 24 hours a day including:

  • Stroke-risk assessment
  • Prevention
  • Dedicated in-hospital stroke units
  • Stroke management services following discharge from hospital as well as follow-up
  • Rehabilitation

Virtua's multidisciplinary stroke teams are staffed with trained specialists including:

  • Neurologists
  • Emergency room physicians
  • Radiologists
  • Specially trained nurses

Stroke Treatment and Services

Virtua's Stroke Centers offer complete in-hospital care starting with emergency room evaluation and treatment. Patients also receive post-acute stroke care including stroke-risk assessment and prevention as well as rehabilitation. Daily stroke rounds are made by staff from the following departments:

  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation medicine
  • Dietary
  • Pharmacy
  • Social worker services

The team works with patients to see if they can independently get out of bed, bathe, eat, take medication and perform other mental and physical tasks. If patients are unable, the staff helps them each day to re-learn these skills. This team also helps determine where patients would receive the most suitable care after leaving the hospital.

Some patients go home and receive home care or outpatient rehabilitation, but others need more intensive rehabilitation. Virtua offers long-term rehabilitation programs at the Virtua Health and Rehabilitation Centers in Berlin and Mount Holly. At these centers, patients receive at least three hours of rehabilitation each day to improve strength, endurance and other skills.