Brain Bleeding? Blood Clot Causing Stroke? You’ll Want To Come To Methodist

A neurology team full of experts will be at your bedside in 15 minutes or less. IU Health Methodist Hospital is the only in the state certified as a comprehensive stroke center, the highest level of acute care for treating strokes.  

An acute stroke team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be at the bedside of a stroke patient within 15 minutes, usually less.

Round the clock, there are neurointerventionists, neuroradiologists, neurologists and a neurosurgeon.

There are dedicated neuro intensive care beds for complex stroke patients and extensive diagnostic testing capabilities always at the ready.

Not to mention, IU Health recently launched a Mobile Stroke Unit that will rush to the scene of patients having strokes and treat them on the spot. Read more here. 

Yes. If you’re having a stroke, IU Health Methodist Hospital is the place you’ll want to be. It is the only hospital in the state certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, in conjunction with the American Heart Association.

This year marks Methodist’s fourth year operating at the top level of stroke care in the nation. There are three other levels of certifications below a Comprehensive Stroke Center.

What it means for patients, in the simplest of terms, is better medical outcomes.  

“With a stroke, you come in and we want to save brain cells,” says Georgann Adams, CNS, IU Health’s stroke team program coordinator. “So, you want systems in place to move in rapid fashion.”

Methodist has those systems in place, meeting and, in many cases, exceeding the requirements set for certification.

“We treat the hemorrhagic stroke and ischemic stroke and everything in between,” Adams says. 

A hemorrhagic stroke is either a brain aneurysm burst or a weakened blood vessel leak. Blood spills into or around the brain, creating swelling and pressure. That damages cells and tissue in the brain.  

An ischemic stroke can be divided into two main types: thrombotic and embolic. An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot forms somewhere else in the body, then breaks loose and travels to the brain through the bloodstream. The clot lodges in a blood vessel and blocks the flow of blood. A thrombotic stroke is when diseased or damaged cerebral arteries become blocked by the formation of a blood clot within the brain.

The Scoop On Methodist’s Comprehensive Stroke Center

Treatment capabilities: IV thrombolytics; endovascular therapy; microsurgical neurovascular clipping of aneurysms; neuroendovascular coiling of aneurysms; stenting of extracranial carotid arteries; and carotid endarterectomy.

Program medical director: Has extensive expertise and available 24/7.

Acute stroke team: Available 24/7, at bedside within 15 minutes.

Emergency medical services collaboration: Access to protocols used by EMS, routing plans and records from transfer.

Stroke unit: Dedicated neuro intensive care beds for complex stroke patients available 24/7; on-site neurointensivist coverage 24/7.

Initial assessment of patient: Emergency department physician.

Diagnostic testing capabilities: CT, MRI, labs, CTA, MRA, catheter angiography 24/7; other cranial and carotid duplex ultrasound, TEE, TTE as indicated.

Neurologist accessibility: Meets concurrently emergent needs of multiple complex stroke patients; written call schedule for attending physicians providing availability 24/7.

Other key factors in being a Comprehensive Stroke Center include transfer protocols, staff stroke education, providing educational opportunities, clinical performance measures, patient-centered research and guidelines.

“The most exciting thing in stroke is new ways to treat people and highly effective ways to help people,” says Jason Mackey, M.D., an IU Health neurologist. “Being a Comprehensive Stroke Center puts us at the forefront of that.”

— By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.

   Reach Benbow via email or on Twitter @danabenbow.