What to expect when you call 911

Patients with acute stroke (brain attack) are seen in the PeaceHealth Southwest Emergency Department by staff who are expert in managing acute stroke. Just as we do for a heart attack, a patient is seen by a specialist in stroke care within minutes of arriving in Emergency.

Paramedics in the ambulance begin the path by providing rapid assessment and transport of potential stroke patients to the Southwest Stroke Center.

The Emergency Department physician and the stroke neurologist are the front line of a 24-hour on-call team that can administer the only FDA-approved drug for acute stroke, tPA.

tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) is a clot-busting drug that can significantly reduce long-term disability if given within the first three hours after an ischemic stroke occurs. An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery supplying blood to the brain is blocked.

Sometimes people who are not able to receive tPA may be eligible to receive a minimally invasive procedure done in the state-of-the-art Angiocath Lab. These procedures work to open blocked blood vessels in the brain, and restore the flow of blood. Specialists who deliver this care are members of our acute stroke team as well.