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Stroke Care and Treatment Options

Stroke Care from the Beginning

Sibley Stroke Center Effective stroke care at Sibley begins en route to the hospital. EMS personnel notify Sibley’s Emergency Department (ED) of the impending arrival of a possible stroke patient, allowing the ED to prepare in advance.

Within minutes of a patient arriving at Sibley with stroke symptoms, the Stroke Response Team is activated to ensure rapid assessment and treatment. The first step in treatment is to diagnose the cause of the stroke. A CT scan or MRI is performed look at the brain in order to determine if the stroke is a result of bleeding (known as a hemorrhagic stroke) or of blockage due to a blood clot (known as a ischemic stroke).

In the event of a major stroke, Sibley has the technology and trained staff needed to provide the best emergency treatment. Our stroke center also may administer tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a protein that breaks down blood clots within a patient’s body; when injected, tPA can help dissolve the blockage causing stroke symptoms.

Utilizing the expertise of our stroke response professionals and the emergency department team, Sibley offers patients suffering from strokes the best possible start to their recovery.

What is the Stroke Program?

The Sibley Stroke Program is a center of excellence in stroke care. It brings together physicians and health care providers from multiple specialties to provide comprehensive evaluation and management of stroke patients.

Sibley is a Joint Commission-certified primary stroke center. This Primary Stroke Center certification and recertification means that the program has been evaluated by an independent organization and has been found to meet critical elements of performance needed to achieve long term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients. Recertification is undertaken annually.

What is the Stroke Program’s Goal?

The Stroke Program’s goal is to provide outstanding care to all patients with acute stroke. This includes diagnosis with the newest modalities: treatment with standard therapies such as tPA as well as innovative therapies; and state of the art hospital-based and post discharge care by nurses, therapists and physicians experienced in stroke.

Treatment and Rehabilitation

When a patient is admitted to our dedicated inpatient Stroke Unit or ICU, all the services they need are available in one location, delivered by an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals who are specifically trained and certified to assess and treat stroke patients. A neurologist is available 24/7 to provide immediate treatment. Our nurses undergo in-depth training and continuing education to ensure they provide the very best care to patients recovering from stroke; intensive rehabilitation begins right away.

At Sibley, we utilize a multidisciplinary team approach to provide the best care possible to each and every patient. The stroke team includes the following:

  • Emergency Department Physicians
  • Stroke Neurologists
  • Intensivists
  • Cardiologists
  • Medical Hospitalists
  • Stroke Team Coordinators
  • Physical Therapists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Case Coordinators
  • Dieticians
  • Pharmacists
  • Registered Nurses
  • Patient Care Technicians

With the patient’s and family members’ involvement, our team develops a customized treatment plan that takes into account the patient’s overall condition, special needs, personal goals and specific challenges. Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists work with the patient as soon as possible to help him or her regain strength and coordination. Patients are taught techniques and tools to make everyday activities simpler and safer as recovery continues at home.

Ongoing Recovery

A quarter of strokes in the U.S. are recurrent, according to The National Stroke Association. Accordingly, the stroke staff at Sibley educates patients and family members on methods to prevent future strokes and promote wellness. The treatment team emphasizes the importance of healthy living and stroke risk factor reduction, emphasizing the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. A pharmacist is available to discuss medications and the importance of taking them as prescribed. The case coordinator helps patients and their families prepare to return home, arranges for outpatient therapy and services and when necessary facilitates the transfer of the patient to an inpatient rehabilitation facility.

Sibley Stroke Support Group

If you or someone you care for has had a stroke, join us to learn and share experiences. We will provide a light lunch, educational and social support and discussion. Connecting with other survivors and caregivers to share experiences, information and advice can be incredibly beneficial. For more information, please contact Amy Chew, Community Resource Assistance, Stroke Team, or 202-333-4257.

When: Every third Wednesday of the month from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Sibley Medical Building, Conference Room 5

The Stroke Support Group meets on the third Wednesday of each month. View the Community Event Calendar for information on upcoming sessions.

Philanthropy In Action

An anonymous donor gave $1 million to fund the Stroke Program.

Donations have made it possible to provide services and support the highest quality of care. Learn more

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