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If you or a loved one is having a stroke, call 911 immediately!

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Brain cells can begin dying within minutes. Early action and rapid treatment can reduce brain damage and other permanent complications. The two main types of strokes are ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes.

  • Ischemic stroke: Occurs when there is a blockage in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain, leading to a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the affected area. This type of stroke accounts for 87% of all strokes.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke: Occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or leaks, leading to bleeding in or around the brain.
Stroke patients

A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Brain cells begin dying within minutes of a stroke because blood and nutrients to the brain stop. Early action and rapid treatment can reduce brain damage and other permanent complications.

If you notice signs of a stroke, think F.A.S.T. to get your family members or friends immediate care. Signs and symptoms may come and go or possibly disappear altogether. But if you detect any of the following, call 911. Thinking F.A.S.T. can save your friends’ and family members’ lives.

  • Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to rise?
  • Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
  • Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Act fast stroke graphic

Why choose UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center?

Certified by The Joint Commission and the American Stroke Association/American Heart Association, the UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center is part of an elite group of providers focused on quality stroke care. Comprehensive Stroke Centers are recognized as industry leaders. They are responsible for setting the national agenda in expert stroke care.

Comprehensive Stroke Center certification recognizes hospitals that have:

  • State-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Experienced staff and extensive training to receive and treat people with simple and complex strokes.

The UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center received this certification by meeting rigorous standards and requirements. This includes:

  • Expertise in treating patients with strokes of all kinds. This includes ischemic, intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage strokes.
  • 24/7 availability of specialized treatments
  • Advanced imaging capabilities
  • Board-certified vascular neurologists, neurosurgeons, neurocritical care and endovascular providers
  • Specialized nursing care for stroke care and Magnet facility
  • Streamlined accessibility
  • Around-the-clock availability of staff, imaging, two hybrid operating rooms and endovascular procedures
  • Neuromedicine ICU and dedicated neuromedicine and surgical acute care wards
  • Neurorehabilitation is available on-site

As part of our comprehensive care, we offer online consultations and rapid stroke assessment to physicians at a network of locations. This includes Leesburg and The Villages.

UF Health Stroke Team
Get With The Guidelines Stroke Badge 2023

UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center is certified by the American Stroke Association/American Heart Association.

There was an army of individuals, people that are professionals in how to take care of someone that is a stroke patient.

Steve Maynard's story More patient stories
Steve

What are the treatment options for stroke?

There are many treatment options for a stroke, and the choice of treatment depends on a number of factors, including the type of stroke, the severity of symptoms, and how quickly a patient receives treatment. Some common treatment options for stroke include:

  • Intravenous thrombolysis: Intravenous thrombolysis is a medication given through a vein. It dissolves the blood clot and improves blood flow to the affected area of the brain.This treatment is most effective when given within the first few hours after stroke symptoms start.
  • Endovascular thrombectomy, or EVT: Endovascular thrombectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. It involves the removal of a blood clot from a blocked artery in the brain using a catheter and a stent retriever. EVT treatment is most effective when performed within the first 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.
  • Antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications: Antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications are medications that prevent the formation of blood clots or make them less likely to form. These medications are generally used to prevent further strokes in patients who have already had a stroke or are indicated to be at high risk of having one.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be needed in some cases of stroke, such as when there is bleeding in the brain or a blockage in the carotid artery that supplies blood to the brain. Surgery may involve the removal of the blood clot, such as the EVT surgery mentioned, or a mechanical thrombectomy, repair of a damaged blood vessel, or the placement of a stent to keep the artery open.
  • Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation is an essential part of stroke treatment and typically involves physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Rehabilitation aims to help patients regain function and independence after a stroke.

Regardless of what type of treatment a patient receives for a stroke, the most important thing is time. Getting treatment as soon as possible after symptoms of a stroke start can drastically reduce brain damage and improve long-term outcomes.

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Related conditions and treatments

Clinical Trials: Stroke

UF Health research scientists make medicine better every day. They discover new ways to help people by running clinical trials. When you join a clinical trial, you can get advanced medical care. Sometimes years before it's available everywhere. You can also help make medicine better for everyone else. If you'd like to learn more about clinical trials, visit our clinical trials page. Or click one of the links below:

CAPTIVA

The primary goal of the trial is to determine if the experimental arms (rivaroxaban or ticagrelor or both) are superior to the clopidogrel arm for lowering the 1-year rate of ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, or vascular death.

Investigator
Anna Y Khanna
Status
Accepting Candidates
Ages
30 Years - N/A
Sexes
All
CAPTIVA

The primary goal of the trial is to determine if the experimental arms (rivaroxaban or ticagrelor or both) are superior to the clopidogrel arm for lowering the 1-year rate of ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, or vascular death.

Investigator
Brian L Hoh
Status
Accepting Candidates
Ages
30 Years - N/A
Sexes
All
View all stroke studies

Community and Patient Programs: Stroke

Our community and patient programs provide great value to patients, families and loved ones. People can find support, educational materials, expert consultants and more. In most instances, these programs are offered free of charge.

  • The Life After Stroke Support Group

    The Life After Stroke Support Group, or LASSG, meets every Thursday from 3:30–5 p.m. at the Alachua County Senior Recreation Center. This group welcomes anyone who has had a stroke, as well as family, friends and care providers.

  • UF Health Shands HomeCare

    Comprehensive home health and personal care agency devoted to helping you maintain an independent lifestyle.

  • UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital Aphasia Book Club

    Meetings every other Wednesday at 5 p.m. at UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital. This support group is open to the public but space is limited.

News and Patient Stories: Stroke

More Stroke stories

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