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Call 911 for Stroke

Call 911 right away if you or a loved one has any potential stroke symptoms, or get to the Emergency Department.

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Comprehensive Stroke Care

Western Massachusetts’ Leader in Stroke Treatment

If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, every minute matters. Getting expert help from a team of neurologists that offers the latest stroke treatments can make the difference between successfully recovering from a stroke or not.

No matter which Baystate Health hospital is closest to your home, you’ll get the best care possible from our team of stroke specialists. We’re here to provide the care you need right away so you have the best possible outcome after a stroke.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when part of the brain has a sudden disruption in its blood supply. The lack of blood flow means that part of the brain doesn’t receive its necessary oxygen and nutrients, and brain tissue dies as a result. Most strokes happen because a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel in the brain or neck breaks.

“BE FAST” to Spot Stroke Symptoms

Getting advanced care right away is crucial for anyone who is having a stroke. Fast evaluation and treatment save lives and improves the recovery process. If you think your loved one or someone around you may be having a stroke, use the acronym “BE FAST” to know what to watch for:

  • Balance: Is the person suddenly having balance or coordination issues?
  • Eyes: Is the person having sudden vision trouble seeing in one or both eyes or having sudden blurred or double vision?
  • Face: Is one side of the person’s face drooping or numb? Ask the person to smile, and check the results.
  • Arm: Is one of the person’s arms weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Can the person speak? Is their speech slurred or hard to understand? Tell the person a simple phrase, and then tell them to repeat it. Can they do so correctly?
  • Time to call 911: If the person has any of these symptoms — even if they go away — call 911 right away. Make a note of when the person’s symptoms began.

Don’t wait to call for help, even if the person says they don’t need medical attention. Waiting to get stroke care can lead to serious complications or even death.

Our Advanced Stroke Treatment

Each year, the Acute Stroke Team at Baystate Medical Center cares for more than 1,600 patients who have experienced a stroke. That’s more than any other hospital in western Massachusetts. Our stroke treatment and support services include:

Inpatient Stroke Treatment

Baystate Medical Center includes an inpatient specialty neurosciences unit and our region’s only neurointerventional laboratory, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency stroke care. These resources can allow us to stop a stroke in some cases.

Emergency Stroke Treatment

When you call 911 about someone who has experienced a stroke, our Acute Stroke Team is ready. We mobilize our neurosurgeons, neurologists, emergency doctors, radiologists, physiatrists (doctors of physical medicine) and other team members so they can be ready for the patient to arrive. Also, when local emergency medicine services (EMS) providers transport a patient who has experienced a stroke, our Emergency Departments stay in constant contact in order to speed up the patient’s care.

We use the most advanced stroke treatment options available, including:

  • Neurointerventional procedures to remove a blood clot and restore blood flow
  • Stent implantation to hold open a narrowed artery
  • Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a medication also known as a “clot buster,” which can dissolve a blood clot that is blocking an artery

Telestroke Services

You or your loved one can access the best possible stroke care throughout western New England with our advanced Telestroke Program. If you come to any of our hospitals with stroke symptoms, you’ll have access to the same level of care we offer at Baystate Medical Center.

We’ll work with the team at your local hospital to evaluate your symptoms, determine whether you’ve had a stroke and start your treatment. If you need more in-depth testing or treatment, we’ll quickly transport you to Baystate Medical Center.

Our Telestroke Program hospitals include:

Rehabilitation Care After Stroke

Once your initial treatment is complete, our neurological rehabilitation therapists will work with you to help you improve and regain function as soon as possible. You’ll work with our physical, occupational, and speech and language therapists as we develop a personalized plan for your recovery.

You may experience various disabilities after a stroke, based on the part of the brain affected and how quickly you received treatment. These disabilities may include:

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

Some people experience long-term problems with movement, pain or numbness, as well as problems with thinking, speaking or memory. Emotional problems and depression are also common.

Our goal is to reduce lasting damage and improve your function with treatments that help restore blood flow to the brain.

Stroke Support Services

If you’ve had one stroke, you’re at higher risk to have another. That’s why we offer stroke prevention services to help you with recovery and to lower your risk for a future stroke. Appointments for these services are available at Baystate Neurology – Greenfield and Baystate Neurology – Springfield.

You can also find resources from the American Stroke Association and the National Stroke Association, including an online stroke support group.

 

Our Stroke Care Team

In addition to our specialized neurology team, you’ll experience personalized care from our support team, including:

  • Case managers
  • Chaplains
  • Critical care specialists
  • Emergency physicians
  • Interventional 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

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