Watch Dr. James Castle and Dr. Hamad Farhat speak about the Stroke Program and the interaction between members of the stroke team.
When a blood vessel in the brain is blocked, a stroke can occur. Sometimes referred to as “brain attacks,” strokes abruptly deprive the brain of vital blood and oxygen that can quickly damage the brain without prompt medical attention. Restoring proper blood flow as soon as possible is critical. The NorthShore Neurological Institute’s Acute Stroke Team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our multidisciplinary stroke service collaborates with other healthcare professionals throughout the NorthShore system to ensure timely screening and stroke treatment.
As Certified Primary Stroke Centers, NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Evanston and Highland Park Hospitals are the most comprehensive centers between Chicago and Milwaukee for stroke treatment and prevention as well as for other cerebrovascular diseases. Among the strict criteria required to earn Certified Stroke Center status from The Joint Commission is a dedicated stroke unit with specially trained nurses and higher acuity clinical and technical monitoring of stroke patients.
Stroke Signs and Symptoms
The most common signs of a stroke include:
- Trouble seeing
- Distorted speech
- Extremely intense headaches
- Sudden paralysis or tingling in face or extremeties
- Confusion and auditory distortion
Screening and Treatment
Strokes are the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of adult disability, yet they are largely preventable. Our multidisciplinary stroke treatment service collaborates with other healthcare professionals throughout the NorthShore system to ensure screening by identifying stroke signs and symptoms. Our Neurological Institute specialists are committed to educating the community about lifestyle changes that may prevent strokes, and to raising awareness of the warning signs of stroke.
Revolutionary stroke treatment techniques for minimally invasive intra-arterial clot removal enable our interventional experts to safely open up blockages in patients with ischemic stroke, who may not be candidates for t-PA drug therapy. Our specialists employ the latest tools for this highly sophisticated procedure, including the recently-approved Merci Retriever System: a corkscrew-shaped device used to extract blood clots from within the arteries, and the Penumbra System: an aspiration catheter device used to reopen blocked vessels. A variety of cutting-edge balloons and stents also may be used, as may the application of intra-arterial t-PA, in some cases, to effectively dissolve clots.
Team Care Advantage
The Neurological Institute’s stroke team benefits from interdepartmental collaboration and a heightened state of readiness by Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Department physicians and staff, radiology, labs, the Acute Stroke Team and vascular neurosurgeons.
Our multidisciplinary stroke team
Our several fellowship-trained vascular neurologists further distinguish NorthShore’s stroke program and offer patients the finest care backed by the latest technology and acute medical and surgical treatment available. Experience and dedication across the stroke team means CT head scans are accomplished within minutes for patients showing stroke signs and symptoms, so that the best course of action may be taken as quickly as possible. Fellowship-trained endovascular specialists brings to the Neurological Institute special surgical expertise not found or readily available in many other stroke treatment centers.
Providing an important component of stroke treatment, the stroke service’s physiatry experts manage the patient’s rehabilitation needs. These dedicated physicians work with physical, occupational and speech therapists to maximize patients’ mobility, improve their ability to perform activities of daily living, and treat speech and swallowing difficulties caused by stroke.
Patients also benefit from the care of Advanced Practice Nurses dedicated to the care of stroke patients. They provide continuous, compassionate care to stroke patients and their families, offering comprehensive follow-up education and support.
Long-term monitoring and one-on-one educational sessions are a critical component of NorthShore’s exceptional stroke care. Our comprehensive stroke program works collaboratively to develop individually focused treatment plans for patients at risk for first or subsequent strokes.
Patient, Family and Caregiver Support
NorthShore’s Stroke Support Group meets monthly at both Evanston and Highland Park Hospitals. Each meeting begins with an introduction of the participants followed by an educational offering related to stroke. Keynote speakers include subject matter experts primarily from the NorthShore professional community. Meetings conclude with networking and discussion time facilitated by Brian Key, NorthShore Recreational Therapist. Stroke survivors, family members and caregivers are all welcome to attend.
For More Information
Please call 877.570.7020 for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.