Sentara Stroke Program

Sentara has a strong commitment to stroke care that spans our integrated healthcare system. In 2018 across all Sentara hospitals, our providers achieved a door to needle time in less than 60 minutes for the administration of brain clot busting drug intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for 94.1% of stroke patients, which exceeds the 85.7% average of all Virginia hospitals. The 60-minute administration is a threshold set by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

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 three hours) is crucial. But beyond that, there are actually different levels of care available to stroke patients depending on the facility and its individual capabilities.

At Sentara, our Stroke Centers are accredited by the DNV- GL Healthcare. This means that Sentara demonstrates 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.

DNV GL Healthcare integrates program requirements with CMS Conditions of Participation for Hospitals (CoPs), the Guidelines of the Brain Attack Coalition and Recommendations of the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association and most recently, the World Stroke Organization to provide certification for hospitals on their level of stroke care.

What is a Sentara Comprehensive Stroke Center?

A Comprehensive Stroke Center is a facility with a specialized care team and comprehensive technology with the expertise to diagnose and treat stroke patients who require intensive medical and surgical care, specialized testing, or interventional therapies. A Comprehensive Stoke Center (CSC) delivers the highest quality of care to the most complex cases offering evidence based treatments with innovative research protocols.

To be classified this way, a hospital needs to meet certain qualifications, such as:

  • Access to brain surgeons and neurological services
  • Ability to perform specialized vascular interventions
  • 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

As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital can treat patients suffering hemorrhagic or large ischemic strokes with follow up care in an intensive care unit. As well as, other stroke incidents include patients with suspected aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, those with strokes from unusual etiologies or requiring specialized testing or therapies such as endovascular surgery, and those requiring multispecialty management.

Primary Stroke Center

A Primary Stroke Center has also 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.

Sentara Comprehensive Stroke Centers, Primary Stroke Centers, and Acute Stroke Ready Centers are accredited by DNV GL Healthcare. This means that Sentara demonstrated exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care.

The experience of our Sentara specialists serve to directly minimize neurological damage and mortality risks - in effect preserving proper nervous system functions.

The Sentara Stroke Program offers expert stroke across Virginia and Northeast North Carolina. Click here to find a location near you.