Winning the Race Against Time
Every second matters to beat the odds and increase your chances of successfully recovering after a stroke. Your ability to walk, talk, and even breathe can depend on the quality and speed of care you receive.
Know the FAST signs and symptoms of stroke:
- Face drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven or lopsided?
- Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
- Time to call 9-1-1 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and go to a hospital immediately.
Additional stroke symptoms:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Our comprehensive, team-based approach to stroke treatment and prevention means that when you’re with us, you’re in the ideal place to receive the best possible outcome.
Partnership with Penn Medicine
The Penn Medicine Virtua Health partnership brings the region’s foremost leader in neurological treatment and research to South Jersey. Together with the specialists at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, a New Jersey-designated Comprehensive Stroke Center, the Penn neurovascular team uses state-of-the-art techniques to minimize stroke damage.
A Penn neurosurgeon is on call around the clock, and may be aided by teleneurology to quickly diagnose and begin life-saving treatment.
Technology makes the difference in stroke care
The advanced care begins with Virtua Health's Mobile Intensive Care unit. Virtua paramedics call ahead to the emergency room to alert them that a stroke patient will arrive soon.
“Time is brain” when treating stroke, so depending on diagnosis, you will receive a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).
The hospital’s hybrid operating room offers interventional treatment options, where the team uses advanced bi-plane imaging equipment, microsurgery, and other techniques to remove the clot.
The team also may use endovascular techniques to stop bleeding in the brain or open a blocked carotid artery. Penn neurosurgeons also are skilled at performing conventional open surgery if necessary.
Stroke care in the hospital
Following treatment, you’ll receive specialized care in our dedicated critical care and recovery units. Recognized by the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association, the Joint Commission, and the State of New Jersey, our award-winning approach relies on the teamwork of various experts—from specially trained doctors and nurses to physical therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, and social workers.
Together, your care team will collaborate with you every day to ensure you can get out of bed, bathe, eat, take the medicines you need, and perform other mental and physical tasks independently. If needed, the staff works with you to help you re-learn these skills.
Getting you back on your feet
When you’re ready to leave the hospital, this team also helps determine where you should go to receive the right level of care. You might be able to go home and receive outpatient services, or you might benefit from more intensive rehabilitation.
The Regional Rehabilitation Center at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital is the only comprehensive rehabilitation facility in Southern New Jersey to be located within an acute care hospital. Patients enrolled in the program will receive at least three hours of rehabilitation each day to improve strength, endurance, and other skills. Patients also receive 24/7 medical care, including diagnostic testing, consultations by medical specialists, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as needed.
Stroke support groups are also available.
For more information on Virtua's stroke program, call 888-VIRTUA-3 (888-847-8823).