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Comprehensive Stroke Care

At Baystate Health, our team wants you to recover faster from stroke, experience less pain, and have a shorter hospital stay.

No matter which Baystate Health hospital is closest to your home, you’ll receive the best care possible from our team of stroke specialists. We’ll give you the care you need right away so you have the best possible outcome after a stroke. Under the right conditions, we can actually stop a stroke.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when part of the brain suddenly has a disruption in its blood supply. Without blood flow, that part of the brain does not receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients. Brain tissue dies as a result. Most strokes happen because a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks in the brain or neck.

Signs of Stroke

When it comes to stroke, minutes matter. Fast evaluation and treatment saves lives and makes rehabilitation more effective. If you think your loved one may be having a stroke, think “FAST:”

  • Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile so you can check.
  • Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a phrase. Does the person’s speech sound slurred or strange?
  • Time: If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Sudden loss of vision, dizziness, or a severe headache may also be signs of a stroke.

Our Stroke Care Team

You’ll experience personalized care from our specialists. Your support team includes:

  • Case managers
  • Chaplains
  • Critical care specialists
  • Emergency physicians
  • Interventional neurosurgeons
  • Neurologists and neurosurgeons
  • Neuroscience advanced practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Nutritionists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Patient and family educators
  • Physical medicine specialists
  • Physical therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Radiologists
  • Social workers
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Stroke coordinator

Advanced Stroke Treatment

The acute stroke team at Baystate Medical Center provides accurate diagnosis and thorough treatment. We care for 1600+ stroke patients each year, more than any other hospital in western Massachusetts. Our treatment and rehabilitation services include:

Inpatient Stroke Services

Baystate Medical Center offers an inpatient specialty neurosciences unit and the region’s only neurointerventional laboratory, available 24/7 for emergencies. This allows us to stop a stroke in its tracks in some cases.

Baystate Health believes in a patient-centered approach to stroke care that includes:

  • An acute stroke care team with expertise in many neurological disciplines
  • Doctors with experience in stroke diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation
  • Established stroke intervention techniques to improve quality and patient outcomes

Stroke Emergency Services

‘Time saved is brain saved’ in stroke cases. When you call 911, the Acute Stroke Team at Baystate is ready to act. The team includes neurosurgeons, neurologists, emergency physicians, radiologists, physiatrists, and other support staff, who are ready and waiting when you arrive.

Baystate Emergency Departments rely on fast communication with local EMS providers. Our partnership speeds up response at each stage of stroke care. We use the most advanced treatment options available, including:

  • Neurointerventional procedures to remove the clot and restore blood flow
  • Stent implantation to hold open a narrowed artery
  • tPA therapy: a clot-busting medicine that works to dissolve the clot that has clogged an artery

Telestroke Services

Our advanced Telestroke Program allows us to provide the best possible stroke care to patients throughout western New England. If you come to any Baystate hospital with stroke symptoms, you have access to the same level of care offered at Baystate Medical Center.

Our team in Springfield uses a special computer, software, and monitor to work with the team at the local hospital. We work together to conduct a full evaluation, make a diagnosis, and begin treatment. If they decide you need further tests and treatments, you will be stabilized and transported quickly to Baystate Medical Center.

Our Telestroke Program hospitals include:

Rehabilitation Care After Stroke

Once your initial treatment is complete, our neurological rehabilitation therapists partner with you to help you regain maximum function as soon as possible. Our physical, occupational, and speech and language therapists will develop a personalized plan with you.

Stroke-Related Disabilities We Treat

People can experience various disabilities after suffering a stroke. The damage depends on the part of the brain affected and the timing of the treatment. We aim to reduce lasting damage and improve function with faster treatments that restore blood flow to the brain.

Common disabilities after stroke include one or more of these symptoms:

  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Speech loss
  • Vision loss
  • Weakness or numbness of one part of the body

In the long term, some people experience movement problems, pain, numbness, thinking problems, speaking problems, or memory loss. Some also have emotional problems and depression.

Stroke Support Services

We offer stroke prevention services to help patients who have suffered a stroke with recovery and with preventing another stroke. Appointments are available at Baystate Neurology in Springfield and Greenfield.

The American Stroke Association and the National Stroke Association also provide extensive educational stroke resources including an online stroke support group.