The Stroke Center at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center is staffed by Board-
Certified physicians and a team of highly skilled and trained nurses and ancillary staff including
physical, occupational, speech-language, and vocational therapists, and mental health and case
management/social service professionals. All have been extensively trained in the treatment of
Cerebro Vascular Accidents (CVA), commonly known as “stroke.” The Unit is equipped with its own
rehab room exclusively for the use of stroke patients.
Brookdale’s New York State Department of Health (DOH) designated Stroke Center has been
established to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment for patients who have
suffered a “brain attack” from arrival at the hospital to discharge. A New York City 911 receiving
center for patients with signs and symptoms of stroke (CVA), Brookdale posses the clinical
expertise, equipment, trained staff, and follow-up rehabilitation to effectively diagnose and treat stroke patients.
Upon arrival at the hospital with stroke symptoms, the patient is immediately triaged and a CT Scan of the head is obtained to evaluate the cause of symptoms. A neurologist views the scan and treatment begins immediately with the use of the latest medical technology. If the patient has had an Ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, and if he/she meets the criteria for this kind of treatment, Tissue Plasminogen Activator “rt-PA” that dissolves blood clots obstructing blood flow to the brain is administered. Should the patient require neurosurgery, a highly skilled neurosurgery team is available. The window of opportunity to start treating stroke patients is three hours, but to be evaluated and receive treatment, patients need to get to the hospital’s Emergency Department within 90 minutes of the onset of symptoms.
Once treatment has been initiated, and depending on the patient’s condition, he/she is placed in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit or in a bed in the Stroke Center and rehabilitation evaluation performed.
Our dedicated Case Management staff on the Stroke Unit will work with the patient throughout their stay at the Center. He/she will be responsible for designing a discharge plan in accordance with the patient’s needs; either to the home or to our long term skilled nursing facility, the Schulman and Schachne Institute. Other services they will provide include arrangement for home care if necessary; counseling and supportive care.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke, also known as a “brain attack,” occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a clot or blockage or a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because they either stop receiving oxygen and other nutrients essential for proper function or because they are damaged by sudden bleeding in or around the brain.
The estimated window of opportunity to begin treating stroke patients is three hours. This requires the patient to be at the hospital as rapidly as possible after the onset of the stroke. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater and more permanent the damage. Immediate treatment can save someone’s life and enhance his or her chances for a successful recovery.
Although a stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body depending on which area is damaged. Generally, effects from a stroke range from mild to severe and can cause a variety of problems including partial or complete paralysis, deficits in motor functions, language deficiencies, loss of comprehension and word retrieval, and emotional changes. Patients may also experience sensory disturbances including pain or numbness following a stroke.
Although there are lifestyle changes that can be made to reduce the risk, it is important to note that everyone is susceptible to suffering a stroke - but if one occurs, immediate action needs to be taken. The American Stroke Association recommends you immediately call 911 if you have any of the following symptoms:
Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of your body
Sudden confusion or speaking and understanding difficulty
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination