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VCU Health Offers Expert Stroke Care, Education and Research

Did you know that stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. today? More than 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke annually. In fact, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds.

It is important to know the signs of a stroke so if you or a loved one experiences any of the symptoms of a stroke, you can seek emergency treatment fast at VCU Health at our Comprehensive Stroke Center. We provide expert stroke care with innovative treatments, including our hybrid operating room.

Comprehensive Stroke Expertise and Leading-Edge Technology

VCU Health is an elite leader in stroke care, education and research and the first certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Virginia. More than one-third of stroke patients admitted to VCU Medical Center are transferred from other hospitals. This reflects our depth of expertise and leading-edge care. The hallmark of VCU Health Comprehensive Stroke Center is providing advanced care for both routine and complex stroke patients, including:

Advanced Certification by the Joint Commission

VCU Health is certified by The Joint Commission for expert stroke care, meeting and exceeding the demanding standards for Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center designation in terms of:

  • Advanced neuroimaging
  • Faculty expertise
  • Interventions and surgeries
  • Volume of specific stroke treatments and outcomes

We believe the The Joint Commission certification is a tremendous honor and responsibility, crediting our interdisciplinary work across the following clinical specialization:

Additionally, VCU Health continues to be recognized annually as an elite American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Gold Plus and Target Stroke hospital, exceeding the qualification for stroke performance measures.

What Sets Our Stroke Care Apart from Others?  

VCU Health continues to be a leader in stroke education and research, with National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and industry-sponsored grants. At VCU Health Comprehensive Stroke Center, our expert team does not just treat your stroke, but we find out why the stroke occurred. Our goal is to eliminate risk factors we can control to diminish the risk of another stroke. Additionally, our patients participate in the latest clinical trials as we discover groundbreaking new ideas and innovative treatments to reduce the risk of stroke. Current clinical stroke studies include:

  • New transdermal pro-drug with potential anti-inflammatory impact in acute ischemic stroke
  • Newer treatments for cerebral aneurysm, vasospasm in subarachnoid hemorrhage and minimally invasive neurosurgery plus IV-TPA in intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Pre-hospital ambulance stroke evaluation by telemedicine
  • Treatment of embolic stroke of unknown source (ESUS)
  • Virginia Women’s Stroke Prevention Initiative

In addition to expertise for stroke treatment, our team provides outstanding rehabilitative services for patients that need comprehensive rehabilitation for any physical effects from stroke. Through our physical medicine and rehabilitation department, our board certified physician specialists, also known as physiatrists, lead a team of skilled and credentialed therapists and speech pathologists to improve outcomes through a comprehensive recovery plan.

Top 5 Percent of Hospitals Nationwide

At VCU Health, our stroke team uses the gold standard of care called IV-TPA, or tissue plasminogen activator, to dissolve blood clots. Our consistently superior response time of under 30 minutes from hospital arrival, demonstrated to improve stroke outcomes and safety, places VCU Health in the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide. We were also the first in Virginia to:

  • Extend the emergency code stroke alert across all 24 hours for improved response times
  • Integrate multimodal CT perfusion and angiography in the evaluation of all Emergency Department stroke alert patients, regardless of NIH Stroke Scale severity

Partners with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognizes VCU Health for numerous achievements, including:

  • 85 percent or higher compliance with all Get with the Guidelines® - Stroke Achievement Measures
  • 75 percent or higher compliance with five or more Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Quality
  • Thrombolytic Therapy ≤ 60 minutes 75 percent and ≤ 45 minutes 50 percent or more of applicable acute
  • Ischemic stroke patients improve quality of patient care and outcomes

To Contact Stroke Services

For a Stroke Emergency, call 911 immediately. For more information about our expert stroke care at VCU Health or to make an appointment with one of our stroke specialists, call (804) 828-1856.