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Stroke Program

A stroke or "brain attack" is a vascular condition that affects the arteries leading to and inside the brain. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blockage from a clot (ischemic stroke) or from an artery that has burst inside the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). When that happens, the affected part of the brain is deprived of the blood and oxygen it needs, and the tissue starts to die. The result is sudden disability that can include:

  • numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • severe headache with no known cause

If you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms, CALL 9-1-1 immediately.

Comprehensive Stroke Care, Round-the-Clock

Our expert emergency room doctors, neurologists and neurosurgeons are available 24 hours a day to treat individuals with a stroke. As soon as someone with signs and symptoms of a stroke arrives at El Camino Hospital, we examine them using CT scanners and other state-of-the-art imaging technology to pinpoint the location, type, nature and extent of the brain injury. Although the initial diagnostic protocols are the same for people with an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, it is essential to tailor the treatment to the individual. Every stroke is different and treatment decisions are based on the type and severity of the stroke, the individual’s general health, the location of the clot or bleed, the time elapsed since the onset of stroke symptoms and other factors.

Depending on imaging results, clot-dissolving drugs, such as t-PA are given to break up the clot and restore blood flow to the brain. It is imperative that anyone with signs of stroke be treated without delay, as the clot-dissolving drugs must be given within the first 4 ½ hours after stroke symptoms begin.

Our ability to treat stroke effectively and immediately has been greatly enhanced with neurointerventional services. This capability allows us to treat all types of stroke. Less invasive than traditional surgical treatment modes, neurointerventions can be performed through a tiny incision. The use of sophisticated image guidance technology during the procedure allows the neurointerventionist to operate without opening the skull or exposing the brain.

Possible neurointerventions may include the introduction of a tiny device to snag and remove a blood clot in the brain or the administration of Intra-arterial tPA. Delivering tPA directly to the affected area can expand the window of opportunity for tPA treatment.

El Camino Hospital's twenty-eight bed stroke unit has a specially trained staff to provide the best care during the acute and recovery phases of a stroke. Our support continues by providing comprehensive care, including education for the patient and family members, discharge planning, and care coordination tailored to each patient’s needs.

El Camino Hospital Stroke Team

Our stroke team, from admission to discharge, is made up of specialists from a wide range of disciplines. We combine our expertise to determine the best treatment plan for each stroke patient. Our multidisciplinary team consists of:

  • Case Managers
  • Critical Care Unit Nurses
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientists
  • Dietitians
  • Emergency Department Nurses & Physicians
  • Intensivitists
  • Internists
  • Neuro Psychologists
  • Neurointerventionalists
  • Neurologists
  • Neuroradiologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Phlebotomists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Speech Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Stroke Unit Nurses

Exceeding National Standards

El Camino Hospital has received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for disease-specific care certification. This means that El Camino Hospital has demonstrated that our stroke program is meeting and exceeding national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with a stroke.

Our world class physicians, nursing and medical staff have been involved in the American Stroke Association's “Get With the Guidelines” (GWTG) Stroke Program since the pilot study began in Spring of 2003. El Camino Hospital is one of the very first hospitals to achieve national recognition as a GWTG Stroke Hospital by completing predetermined criteria for stroke care and hospital improvement.

As a designated a GWTG Stroke Gold Plus hospital we follow treatment guidelines and have maintained exceptional performance in stroke care.

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Educational Support Services

Education Support Services Available Through the Stroke Center at El Camino Hospital
Download our flyer listing the educational support services available through the Stroke Center at El Camino Hospital.

El Camino Hospital Exceeding National Standards

Joint Commission Seal

To achieve this designation, El Camino Hospital had to demonstrate that its stroke program is meeting national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke, the nation's third leading cause of death. El Camino Hospital joins the elite ranks of the primary stroke centers in the United States with the designation. For more information about this designation visit The Joint Commission website.


Get With the Guidelines from American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize El Camino Hospital for achieving 85% or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for consecutive 12 month intervals and 75% or higher compliance with 5 of 8 Get with the Guidelines Stroke Quality Measures to improve quality of patient care and outcomes in addition to achieving Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy ≤ 60 minutes in 50% or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients (minimum of 6) during one calendar quarter. Learn more at www.heart.org/quality