Stroke

St. Vincent’s Medical Center was the first hospital designated a Primary Stroke Center by the State of Connecticut, and has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

We have a proven and ongoing commitment to decrease the number of strokes, to give hope and assistance to those who have suffered stroke, and to help those in our community who have been touched by stroke.


How to Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.

Early intervention is necessary. Brain cells, once lost, are irreplaceable. If the stroke victim receives the right care within the right timeframe, it can save his or her ability to have a normal life. 

FAST is an easy way to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke. Recognition of stroke and calling 9-1-1 will determine how quickly someone will receive help and treatment. Getting to a hospital rapidly will more likely lead to a better recovery.

F - FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A - ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S - SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T - TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and go immediately to the emergency room. 

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in, around or leading to the brain ruptures or becomes blocked. When this happens, the area of the brain supplied by the affected blood vessel fails to work properly.


Stroke Education & Research Saves Lives

In addition to a community Stroke Awareness Program of seminars and education, St. Vincent’s conducts free stroke screenings and conducts stroke research studies to improve treatment and outcomes. (Patients who wish to participate in the stroke research program can tell their physician.)


Types of Stroke

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without the oxygen and nutrients that blood supplies, brain cells in the affected area begin to die.

There are three main types of stroke: ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attack (TIA).

  • Ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot blocking or plugging a blood vessel or artery in the brain. About 80% of all strokes are ischemic.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel in the brain that bursts and bleeds into the brain. About 20% of all strokes are hemorrhagic.
  • A TIA is a "warning stroke", sometimes called a "mini-stroke." TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery in the brain. Symptoms are the same as a stroke, but usually last for only a matter of minutes. TIA's still need immediate medical treatment.

Admissions

For anyone with symptoms of stroke, here’s what to expect on arrival at our emergency department.