Comprehensive Stroke Care at Tampa General Hospital
Receiving prompt and quality care is critical for individuals who are having a stroke. That's why it's important for people experiencing stroke symptoms to visit a stroke care center with medical professionals who can properly identify the cause of the condition and provide fast, effective treatment. For this reason, Tampa General Hospital is the optimal choice. The only nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center in Hillsborough County, Tampa General provides multidisciplinary emergency intervention and follow-up treatment for stroke patients in accordance with all guidelines set forth by the American Heart Association. As a result, TGH takes part in the Get With the Guidelines® - Stroke quality improvement program. TGH earned the STROKE Target Stroke Honor Roll ELITE PLUS recognition as part of a series of national awards given each year to hospitals that meet quality patient care and outcomes guidelines in heart, stroke, and resuscitation care. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report has recognized TGH as one of the Top 10 Hospitals in Florida and among the Top 10% in the U.S. for Neurology and Neurosurgery for 2020-2021.
With one of the largest neuroscience intensive care units in the nation and an in-house stroke team, we are prepared to provide effective, comprehensive stroke care 24 hours a day. Our staff has the specialized medical training necessary to help limit the types of long-term damage that can result from a stroke. We also have the experience and resources necessary to provide care from initial emergency admittance through rehabilitation, a level of stroke care other medical facilities are unable to provide.
A stroke occurs when the brain is deprived of sufficient blood flow, leading to an interruption in the delivery of necessary oxygen and nutrients. Because a prolonged disruption to normal blood flow can cause long-term damage to brain tissue, receiving prompt care at a state-licensed, comprehensive stroke center like Tampa General Hospital is of the utmost importance because brain cells will begin to die soon after the blood disruption starts. Our highly trained stroke team includes board-certified stroke physicians, interventional neuro-radiologists, and other stroke care specialists who are devoted to delivering exceptional patient care. We evaluate patients on a case-by-case basis and determine the most appropriate treatment, tailoring the treatment plan to each individual’s unique needs so the best outcomes are achieved.
While it is best to arrive at and receive care at a comprehensive stroke center when symptoms initially start, TGH does accept transfer patients who may have been stabilized at another medical facility. In fact, we have helicopters available to transport in patients from other facilities that may not have the extensive resources needed to provide the highest level of care, and we offer specialized inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs to help individuals recover from the effects of a stroke.
Treatment for Ischemic Strokes, Hemorrhagic Strokes, and Transient Ischemic Attacks at TGH’s State-Licensed and Nationally Accredited Comprehensive Stroke Center
There are two main types of strokes – ischemic, which involves a blockage in an artery supplying blood to the brain, and hemorrhagic, which results from a ruptured blood vessel in or on the brain. There are also transient ischemic attacks – often called “mini-strokes” – that resemble strokes but that last for a much shorter period of time, resolve spontaneously, and generally do not cause permanent damage to the brain. TGH, the first hospital on Florida’s west coast to receive Comprehensive Stroke Certification from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, treats all of these neurological events, using state-of-the-art equipment and a dedicated, in-house stroke care team.
Due to our experience in the field, we know that it’s vital for people to understand what causes a stroke and how to recognize one in progress because such knowledge can save lives. The underlying causes of stroke are often multifaceted, and may include risk factors that are beyond the control of the patient (such as being over the age of 55), as well as controllable lifestyles choices that include being a smoker or using illicit drugs. Some of the most commonly cited risk factors include:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Atrial fibrillation
- Clotting diseases
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
Regardless of the underlying causes, strokes and transient ischemic attacks share many of the same symptoms, such as drooping or numbness of the face, typically only on one side, weakness of the arms and/or legs, usually on one side of the body, and dizziness or loss of balance. Other common stroke symptoms include:
- Face drooping
- Arm weakness
- Slurred speech
- Confusion or difficulty comprehending speech
- Severe headache
- Blurred or dimmed vision in one or both eyes
These symptoms typically come on suddenly, and they require immediate medical attention. The faster the patient receives medical care, the better their chances of saving brain cells from being starved of blood. And the more qualified the stroke center selected is to provide stroke treatment and subsequent rehabilitation, the greater position the patient will be in to recover. As a comprehensive stroke center, Tampa General Hospital offers a level of care to stroke patients that primary centers simply cannot match.
If you or someone you know is experiencing stroke symptoms, dial 9-1-1 right away and ask to be taken to your nearest comprehensive stroke center.