Stroke Care at the UVM Medical Center
A stroke happens every 40 seconds in the U.S with 780,000 Americans suffering a new or recurrent stroke each year, and it’s the third cause of death following heart disease and cancer.
Time is of the essence in treating stroke in order to minimize damage to the brain. UVM Medical Center’s Multidisciplinary Stroke Center offers comprehensive care from prevention to rehabilitation with treatment options and therapies centered around your needs.
Stroke: What You Need to Know
We offer many education and wellness programs to help members of our community reduce their risk of stroke and other health concerns, including:
For information about prevention and wellness services call the Office of Community Health Improvement at 802-847-2278, the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at 802-847-8821, or visit Community Health Improvement.
Our team approach brings together a range of physicians and specialists to provide optimal stroke care. The UVM Medical Center’s Acute Care Stroke team, which is ready to respond to stroke emergencies, includes the following specialists:
- Radiologists and a neuro-interventional radiologist
- Resident physicians
- Stroke nurse practitioner
Once patients are admitted to the hospital, they receive a full work-up to assess the causes of the stroke.
The Stroke and Neuro-critical Care team perform a comprehensive evaluation and counsel patients. This team includes:
- Neurologists with specialized training in stroke
- Stroke nurse practitioner
- Neurology residents
- Medical students
Registered nurses with certification in neurological care, along with nurse case managers and social workers, work closely with the team to provide the best possible care for the patient and his or her family.
Our acute care services use the latest technology and minimally invasive procedures to treat strokes, including:
- Providing rapid diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from acute ischemic stroke
- Administering clot-busting medication known as TPA to prevent the progression of symptoms
- Identifying patients who will benefit from interventional therapies such as surgery and thrombolysis – a minimally invasive treatment that dissolves abnormal blood clots and improves blood flow
Experienced, Trusted Expertise
The experienced, expert care our patients receive at the UVM Medical Center is our number one priority, for all programs including our stroke care. That’s why we’re proud to be among the hospitals recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® program that distinguishes medical centers providing care that is consistent with the most recent scientific guidelines. In 2011, we were proud to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, where we earned national recognition for the quality of care we provide. The Stroke Center team has been regularly recognized by the "Get with the Guidelines" program since 2008, and has been classified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading organization for setting health care quality standards.
Year after year we show our commitment to clinical excellence in improving quality of patient care and outcomes, and give even more reasons for you to feel good about choosing the UVM Medical Center.
The UVM Medical Center's Stroke Program Earns Repeat Quality Award from American Stroke Association.
The care our patients receive is our number one priority. That’s why we’re proud to be among the hospitals recognized for performance in the Get With The Guidelines® quality program of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
The Stroke Center team has been regularly recognized by the “Get with the Guidelines” program since 2008, and has been classified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading organization for setting health care quality standards.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke happens when the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain is suddenly interrupted. There are two types of stroke:
- Ischemic Stroke which is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) in a brain artery, or by a blood clot which blocks blood flow in a brain artery
- Hemorrhagic Stroke which is caused by a sudden rupture of an artery leading to the brain. When blood flow ceases to the brain, the brain receives no oxygen. This can cause temporary or permanent brain damage, and with time, can result in death
A stroke is a medical emergency. Quick treatment is critical. Acting fast can reduce brain damage and possible complications.
Strokes can be treated and even prevented. In the last 15 years, less Americans die of stroke. Perhaps that’s because we’re taking better care of stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol.
The best way to prevent a stroke from occurring is to be aware of and control the risk factors that can lead to stroke.
Risk factors include:
- Smoking (Want to quit smoking?)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- An abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation)
- Unhealthy eating
A stroke can cause several different symptoms. Do not ignore them; every second counts. Stroke, treated early, can increase your chance of survival and lower the chance for permanent brain damage.
Be aware of the following signs of stroke:
- Difficulty feeling or moving on one side of the body
- Slurring or trouble speaking
- Brief weakness of an arm or leg
- Temporary loss of vision
- Darkening of the vision in one eye
- Feeling like a shade or curtain came down over one eye
- Dizziness or confusion
- Passing out (also called fainting or syncope) or feeling faint
Do not ignore the warning signs of a stroke. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above stroke symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1 to get to emergency hospital care as quickly as possible.
Stroke Diagnosis and Treatment
The UVM Medical Center’s knowledgeable physicians are highly trained in diagnosing and treating stroke. We use specialized techniques to diagnose stroke and advanced technology to treat stroke for about 300 stroke inpatients annually.
The treatment that is right for you will depend upon the type of stroke and how quickly you received treatment. We develop a specific treatment plan to your condition. Your doctor will monitor your health carefully to prevent further brain damage. Then your doctor may recommend therapy to deal with consequences of stroke. This may include physical, speech and occupational therapy.