When it's a stroke, every seconds counts. That's why stroke care is a priority at EvergreenHealth.
Our specialized stroke team is ready for action the minute a stroke patient arrives at the Emergency Department. The team knows what to do so treatment can begin quickly...improving every stroke patient's chances for recovery.
Successful stroke care involves many hospital departments, all working together according to our stroke care protocol. We’re proud to be designated as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, and to be recognized by Healthgrades one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care.
Our stroke care begins with the first responders. When paramedics suspect a stroke, they phone ahead to alert the emergency department. This prompts a chain of events that makes the stroke patient a priority.
The stroke team prepares for the patient's arrival. The team includes emergency physicians, neurologists, hospitalists and nurses all with special training in treating stroke. Interventional radiologists and neurosurgeons are brought in as needed.
Diagnostic imaging prepares for immediate CT scans, with a radiologist on hand to read the results. The lab prepares to rush blood tests.
Once the patient arrives, the team will work quickly to make a diagnosis and recommend the best treatment.
In appropriate cases, EvergreenHealth's team of specialized physicians and nurses is available 24/7 to deliver clot-busting medication such as tPA (tissue plasminogen activator).
If a stroke is due to bleeding in the brain, neurosurgeons are available 24/7 should surgical intervention be called for.
Biplane imaging uses two rotating cameras to produce detailed 3-D images of blood vessels, soft tissue and blood flow in real-time. Providers can then use the detailed images to help guide minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat blockages, aneurysms or blood clots in the brain – essentially combining diagnosis and treatment into one procedure.
For stroke patients, this technology allows providers to physically open blood vessels and remove clots, restoring blood flow to the brain. When every minute counts, being able to receive a neurological exam immediately after the onset of symptoms can make all the difference in recovery.
What makes the biplane so beneficial is that it can be used in many areas of vascular disease. This versatile technology allows our team’s ability to provide comprehensive care for even the most complex patients, with the support of a full team of diverse providers working together for the best possible outcomes—this is why EvergreenHealth formed the EvergreenHealth Neuroscience, Spine & Orthopedic Institute—to bring our providers across a spectrum of specialties under one roof.
VIDEO: Dr. David Likosky is interviewed about stroke care and biplane imaging
Once a patient has been treated and stabilized, their recovery will begin in one of our stroke units – either the critical care or progressive care unit – where they will be closely monitored by our team of neurologists, hospitalist physicians and nurses, all with extensive training in stroke care.
They work together with the rehabilitation staff, social workers and discharge planning nurses to manage each stroke patient's care, from monitoring vital signs and neurological status in order to prevent complications to providing the education needed about medications, risk factor management, diet and lifestyle changes to prevent secondary strokes.
Our rehabilitation specialists begin working with stroke patients as soon as their condition is stabilized, because the sooner a patient works to regain normal function the quicker that can happen. Rehab staff will continue to work with patients after they are discharged. Learn more about inpatient stroke rehabilitation
While some stroke patients are able to leave the hospital back to normal, many will need some therapy to help them recover function.
Patients who need more close medical monitoring before being discharged home may be admitted to the medical center’s Acute Rehabilitation Unit, where they can receive intensive rehabilitation in a home-like environment. Learn more about the Acute Rehabilitation Unit
After going home, stroke patients will continue their therapy on an outpatient basis through EvergreenHealth Rehabilitation Care, with the goal of returning to work, school and community activities. Learn more about outpatient rehabilitation care
EvergreenHealth stroke services is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, which means we meet the highest national standards for stroke care. Our Primary Stroke Center has maintained this prestigious advanced certification annually since 2007.
In 2020, we were also certified as a Primary Plus Stroke Center by DNV GL Healthcare, a world-leading certification body for hospitals and health systems.
EvergreenHealth also received the 2019 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for the fourth year in a row. This recognizes our stroke program’s commitment and success in providing excellent care to stroke patients - care that makes a difference in how people recover.
As part of our commitment to stroke care, all of our emergency and hospitalist physicians have gone through specialized training from the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale Certification Program. Emergency department and stroke unit nurses receive annual stroke education, to keep updated on the latest guidelines in stroke care.