Acute Stroke Team
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is an acute stroke center. Patients with stroke develop an abrupt onset of neurological symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, severe headache or dizziness, symptoms that have a wide range of causes. The first priority in the emergency department is to determine if a stroke is the cause of a given patient's symptoms. If so, the type of stroke becomes important. There are two major types of strokes - those that involve blockages of arteries (ischemic stroke) and others involve blood leaking from a broken blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). The treatments for these two kinds of stroke are quite different.
At BIDMC, our team includes emergency physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuro-radiologists, all with specific expertise in diagnosing and treating all varieties of neurological emergencies. For patients with acute ischemic stroke who are candidates to receive the "clot-busting" drug known as t-PA, physicians from the emergency department and the stroke team will begin diagnostic testing and treatments often within minutes of a patient's arrival to the ED. For patients with hemorrhagic strokes, other types of treatments, some medical and others surgical are also available.
BIDMC uses the most modern imaging techniques to define the kind of stoke that an individual patient is having and uses the information to determine the most effective and safest treatments. Teams of neurologists, neurosurgeons
and neuro-critical care experts back up the ED for the care that follows the acute phase. Furthermore, emergency nurses and nurses in the in-patient stroke unit and ICUs have specialized knowledge and interest in these types of emergencies.
Patients who are experiencing cerebrovascular emergencies such as aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and ruptured arteriovenous malformations can be immediately diagnosed and treated in the medical center's state-of-the-art, three-dimensional, high-resolution biplane digital angiography suite using a variety of endovascular techniques, including endovascular
coiling and conventional microsurgery. The program in complex spine neurosurgery provides expertise in the rapid treatment of spinal cord emergencies such as traumatic spinal cord injury and cord compressive syndromes.
Patients Appropriate for Referral:
Patients who are experiencing cerebrovascular emergencies