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Primary Stroke Center

Taking Action, Saving Lives

Deaconess Hospital and Deaconess Gateway Hospital have joined the ranks of an elite group of hospitals, those designated as Primary Stroke Centers.

Stroke is an Emergency. Quick response is crucial during 'Brain Attack'

"Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Recognizing symptoms and acting FAST to get medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities "
- National Stroke Association

Stroke, sometimes called a "brain attack," is a leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, though studies have shown few Americans know its signs and symptoms. Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures.  When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.

Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes a person dies from stroke. Deaconess is ready to change those odds. Understanding stroke facts is an important step in making a difference in the world of stroke.

The primary stroke symptoms include:

  • SUDDEN numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping
  • SUDDEN numbness or weakness in an 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

Note the time the symptoms began and call 911 immediately. Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms.

Deaconess Primary Stroke Center offers:

  • 24-hour availability of a designated Acute Stroke Team, neurosurgical, imaging, laboratory, and radiology services.
  • A highly trained Emergency Department experienced in diagnosing and treating strokes. 
  • Strong relationship with Emergency Medical Services (EMS). 
  • Written patient care protocols to streamline and accelerate diagnosis and treatment of stroke.
  • Specialized stroke units in the hospital.
  • Advanced nursing care and dedicated personnel for stroke units.
  • 24-hour availability of tPA, the only medicine shown to improve stroke outcomes when given within the 3 hour window of stroke symptom onset.
  • Quality improvement and performance protocols which include a registry for tracking patient treatments, timelines of treatments, and measures of patient outcomes.
  • Stroke education for staff that treat stroke patients.
  • Community education events that cover stroke prevention, the signs and symptoms of stroke, and when to call 911.

Deaconess Neuro Services is dedicated to improving stroke care in our community. Use our Stroke Treatment Checklist to determine if your hospital provides the same level of care.

Learn more about upcoming stroke-related events, your risk for stroke, and helpful articles and resources to the left of your screen.


Select content on this site is provided by permission of National Stroke Association. Please visit for stroke education resources. © 2011 National Stroke Association.