St. Vincent’s Medical Center is designated as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, and has received numerous American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Quality Achievement Awards.

How to spot a stroke... BE FAST!


What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when either a clot or ruptures block a blood vessel that carries oxygen (blood) and nutrients to the brain. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the oxygen (blood) it needs, so it and brain cells die.

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.


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