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A stroke is a medical emergency where blood flow to the brain is either reduced or stopped, depriving brain tissue of essential oxygen and nutrients. A stroke may cause loss in brain function and affect movement and speech.

Stroke care in Virginia

Our neurologists respond quickly and with expert care to increase your chances of full recovery from stroke.

During a stroke, fast response and effective treatment can be the difference between complete recovery and a life changed forever. At HCA Virginia Health System, our stroke treatment is designed to reduce the impact a stroke has on your future. With your individual needs and well-being in mind, we provide specialized neuroscience intensive care units (neuro ICUs), transitional step-down facilities and a stroke rehabilitation program, setting the standard for quality stroke care.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Signs of a stroke

The symptoms of a stroke, whether the stroke is ischemic or hemhorragic, are usually very similar and may include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes

Our stroke treatments and services

In addition to quick, life-saving care in our emergency rooms, we provide specialized programs to help you heal as quickly as possible if you've experienced a stroke.

Renowned stroke care

We pride ourselves on excellent stroke treatment throughout our network of hospitals. We're home to the first non-academic community hospital and the second in Virginia to achieve the Comprehensive Stroke Certification by DNV-GL Healthcare. This designation reflects our neurology programs' commitment to comprehensive, evidence-based care.

Telemedicine services for stroke

Telemedicine increases the quality and convenience of stroke services by providing better, faster and more specialized care.

When a doctor suspects a stroke, but doesn't have immediate access to on-site stroke care, our telemedicine capabilities can save lives. Your doctor can access, from almost any device, neurological staff to provide a real-time neurological assessment. You can see and interact with the neurologist and view scans and reports of your tests, which can also be shared with a specialist. The neurologist can view head scans, prior reports and records in order to make an informed decision about your care.

Telemedicine leads to faster administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busting drug for blockages in the arteries in the brain. The sooner tPA is given, the more brain tissue is preserved.

Rapid administration of tPA is critical for acute ischemic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot.

The other common type of stroke is hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke is either a brain aneurysm burst or a weakened blood vessel leak, which spills blood into or around the brain and creates swelling and pressure. This damages brain cells and tissue and can cause life-altering damage and even death. Telemedicine can help doctors prepare for the necessary intervention more quickly.

Initial stroke treatment

Sometimes we find out we're going to receive a potential stroke patient before that patient ever arrives at our hospital, through emergency responders or telehealth services. When that happens, our stroke care team calls a “code neuro”.

Code neuro is our well-established and highly integrated process for response, diagnosis, and treatment for stroke. It smoothly links local first responders, outlying community hospitals and all HCA Virginia Health System hospitals. With this system, our care for you begins before you even get to the hospital and improves care for you during your time with us.

Neuro ICU

After stroke intervention and response, we transition you to a private, spacious room in our neuro ICU or our neuroscience step-down unit for recovery.

In these units, you’ll benefit from the latest inpatient monitoring technology, which means faster response, more effective care and a quieter environment while you heal and get back your strength.

Stroke rehabilitation

When you've stabilized after a stroke, our rehabilitation team partners with you on the road to recovery. They'll evaluate your needs and work with you one-on-one to regain function, skills and independence in affected areas of your body. Our specialists use customized rehabilitation therapies, including physical, occupational, speech and swallowing therapies to get your back to your optimal health.

Educating our community about strokes

It may not always be possible to prevent a stroke, but the more quickly you can recognize one, the faster doctors can provide care to minimize the effects — and potentially save a life. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can help save lives. Think "F.A.S.T."

  • F = Face drooping unevenly
  • A = Arm numb, weak, hard to raise
  • S = Speech is difficult or slurred
  • T = Time to call 911

To learn more about stroke can also be found through the American Stroke Association and the National Stroke Association.

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