Expert stroke care in Central Denver

Every year in the U.S., approximately 800,000 people will suffer from a stroke. In fact, stroke remains the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. As a part of our advanced neuroscience program, Rose Medical Center offers expert stroke care in Denver, Colorado that exceeds national standards. Our team provides care for the full journey of a stroke patient, from rapid emergency stroke treatment to ongoing rehabilitation for stroke patients.

Remember to always dial 911 if you suspect you or a loved one are experiencing a stroke.

Our physicians and support staff recognize the symptoms of stroke quickly and perform life-saving treatment within the national standard treatment times, making Rose Medical Center the top stroke care program in central Denver.

When it comes to treating a stroke, every second counts.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, causing brain tissue damage and loss. It is estimated that two million neurons are killed per minute during a stroke. If you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke, BE FAST and call 911 immediately.

Stroke symptoms normally occur suddenly and can include:

  • Balance—Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Eyes—Blurry vision, trouble seeing in one or both eyes or severe headache with no known cause
  • Face—Face drooping, numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the face
  • Arms—Numbness or weakness in the arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Speech—Speech difficulty, confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Time—Time to call 911!

Advanced stroke care

Medical evidence demonstrates that the faster you are treated after experiencing initial stroke symptoms, the greater your chance of recovery. At Rose Medical Center, we have a dedicated stroke team to provide rapid evaluation and treatment of stroke to improve stroke care.

Our stroke care includes:

  • Stroke Alert Program, which connects local emergency medical services (EMS) with Rose for rapid care to stroke patients
  • 24/7 coverage by neurologists specializing in acute treatment of stroke
  • 24/7 on-call neurosurgeons available for patients requiring surgical intervention
  • Emergency medicine physicians
  • Core stroke team members, all specially trained in stroke care
  • Dedicated stroke care coordination nurse and Magnet®–recognized nurses
  • Neurological rehabilitation through our physical, occupational and speech therapy programs, as well as Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, a Rose Medical Center sister facility with intensive outpatient stroke rehabilitation services
  • AirLife Denver, a highly trained emergency transport team covering vast areas of the Rocky Mountain region

Stroke Alert Program

Rose Medical Center participates in the Stroke Alert Program with our local EMS partners. Stroke Alert, developed by HealthONE in collaboration with physicians and EMS agencies, enables first responders to play a critical role in the transportation and treatment of stroke patients. Most importantly, it improves the care and recovery of our patients.

Our specially trained stroke response team immediately assesses patients for:

  • Stroke symptoms
  • Time of onset of the symptoms
  • Possible contributing risk factors

Stroke treatment

If the time of onset is less than four-and-a-half hours, the patient may be eligible for a clot-busting drug called tPA, tissue plasminogen activator. This drug will dissolve the existing clot and restore blood flow to the affected area of the brain. The patient must meet certain criteria to receive this drug, including:

  • No history of trauma or surgery within the last three months
  • PT/INR blood levels (coagulation studies) must be within defined parameters to reduce the risk of bleeding
  • The benefits must outweigh the risks
  • No history of brain tumor, aneurysms or recent stroke
  • Blood sugar level between 60 and 400
  • 18 years old or older
  • Patient and family consent

At Rose Medical Center, we provide outstanding care for patients during and after a stroke. Our diagnostic tests help us determine the exact cause of the stroke. If we know what kind of stroke a patient has experienced, we can help prevent another stroke. We also provide education to patients and families regarding:

  • Risk factors
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Signs and symptoms of a stroke
  • When to get to the hospital

Neurological rehabilitation for stroke patients

Neurological rehabilitation can help improve a person’s ability to function independently after experiencing a stroke. When a patient is admitted to Rose Medical Center for a stroke, we begin aggressive physical, occupational and/or speech therapy as soon as the patient is capable.

Rose Medical Center has also developed partnerships with nearby rehabilitation facilities that specialize in neurological rehabilitation. These relationships allow patients to smoothly transition from an acute hospital setting into a rehabilitation facility. These rehabilitation facilities offer unique programs and services for stroke survivors.

Stroke telemedicine

Telemedicine is a breakthrough program that allows physicians to provide lifesaving exams and treatments for stroke patients at Rose. HealthONE ERs across the Denver metro area are now equipped with telepresence robots, the latest in stroke care technology. This means patients with stroke symptoms who arrive at our ER can be assessed almost instantaneously by neurologists specializing in stroke. As a result, emergency physicians can more quickly treat stroke patients in our ER and reduce or eliminate long-term stroke impacts on our patients.

Our telemedicine technology includes:

  • A camera and microphone for live, two-way audio
  • A computer on a wheeled cart that is placed in the ER and connects to the computer of a specialist, much like video conferencing
  • Capabilities of the specialist to control/zoom the camera and access remote medical devices

Stroke risk factors

The following are risk factors that you have the power to control and reduce your risk of stroke:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • >Heart disease
  • Artery disease
  • Smoking
  • Cocaine abuse
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use
  • High red blood cell count
  • Physical inactivity or obesity

The following are risk factors for stroke that patients do not have control over:

  • African-American ethnicity
  • 65 years old or older
  • Female
  • History of stroke
  • Sickle cell disease

Stroke prevention

  • Be consistent with annual health physicals
  • Know family history (hereditary traits)
  • Stop smoking
  • If diabetic, check blood sugar before each meal and at bedtime to monitor and maintain safe blood glucose levels
  • Have cholesterol checked yearly
  • If you have high blood pressure, monitor it daily
  • Increase your exercise
  • Eat a low fat, low cholesterol diet

Preventing stroke in our community

We are committed to providing community resources and education about stroke prevention and stroke care. You can find our team at a variety of community events in the Denver area, and we are proud to partner with organizations around the city to provide stroke education to the public. If you or someone you know has been impacted by a stroke, information about local support groups is available through the American Stroke Association® support group registry.