If you or a loved one suffers a stroke, you might think that just getting to the hospital is all you need to worry about. And that’s partially true – immediate, or "acute” treatment (within the first 4.5 hours) is crucial. Early identification and treatment improves the patient’s chance of both survival and disability-free life. Time truly is brain.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital offers state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments for stroke patients. From our 3T MRI, our quick access to neurologists using tele-stroke capabilities, and fast treatment times for medicines and clot-removing interventional procedures, our designated Primary Stroke Center is always ready.

What is a Sentara Primary Stroke Center?

A Primary Stroke Center is a facility that has been certified to provide highly specialized care to stroke patients via a dedicated team that’s activated immediately to diagnose and treat patients the second they arrive in the ER. To be classified this way, a hospital needs to meet certain qualifications, such as:

  • Access to brain surgeons and neurological services
  • 24-hour access to MRI or CT scan capabilities
  • Additional, specialized stroke training for emergency personnel
  • An acute stroke team must be available around the clock

By why does that matter to you? It matters because with stroke treatment, time is of the essence. Every second counts. So being at a Primary Stroke Center provides a patient with a higher level of diagnosis and treatment that could make all the difference.

At Sentara, our Sentara Primary Stroke Centers are accredited by the DNVHC (Det Norske VERITAS Healthcare, Inc). This means that Sentara demonstrated exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. Our emergency room physicians team up with neurologists and an interventional neuro -radiologist, board-certified and specialty trained in neurovascular disease, to quickly assess and treat acute stroke symptoms and emergency neurology care.

As a result, improved clinical outcomes result from accurate speedy assessments and administering of tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) treatment or mechanical thromectomy on ischemic attacks. The experience of our Sentara specialists serve to directly minimize neurological damage and mortality risks - in effect preserving proper nervous system functions.

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