A stroke or "brain attack" is a type of vascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blockage from a clot or from an artery within the brain that has burst. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.
Think F.A.S.T.,Call 9-1-1
The American Stroke Association recommends that anyone displaying symptoms of stroke get immediate medical attention. If you think you are having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.
To help recognize possible signs of stroke, the ASA says, think F.A.S.T.:
Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to
smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms.
Does one arm drift downward?
Speech difficulty: Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask
the person to repeat a simple sentence like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence
Time to call 9-1-1: If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
El Camino Hospital 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.
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
- Emergency department nurses & physicians
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Speech therapists
- Social workers
- Stroke unit nurses
Comprehensive round-the-clock services
As soon as a potential stroke patient arrives at El Camino Hospital, CT scanners and other state-of-the-art imaging technology is used to pinpoint the location, type, nature and extent of the brain injury. Our expert emergency room doctors, neurologists and neurosurgeons are available 24 hours a day to treat stroke patients.
Our professionals are trained to respond swiftly so that the best treatments may be administered. Clot-dissolving drugs, such as t-PA, to break up the clot and restore blood flow to the brain to reduce brain damage may be recommended. These clot-dissolving drugs must be given within the first 3 hours after stroke symptoms begin - therefore timing is imperative!
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 patient and family discharge education and plans tailored to each patients' individual needs. Our team can help guide families through rehabilitation and provide referrals to ongoing support.