What is a Stroke  |  Warnings  |  Risks  |  Preventing Stroke  |  Women's Choice Award

If you have a stroke, where you are treated can have a significant impact on your potential for recovery. Patients in central Connecticut have the advantage of having a Primary Stroke Center, right here at MidState Medical Center.

The team at our Stroke Center is committed to assessing and treating stroke patients in a timely manner to enhance positive outcomes and increase the chance of a full recovery.

Our multidisciplinary Stroke Team includes:

  • Neurologists and Case Managers who oversee your care
  • Physical Therapists that help you regain mobility
  • Occupational Therapists that teach you everyday tasks like bathing and dressing
  • Speech Pathologists that address your speaking and swallowing abilities
  • Nurses who are specially trained in the care of stroke patients

Every stroke is different. Depending upon your age and other medical conditions, our Stroke Team will determine the best approach to help you regain functioning and meet your optimal rehabilitation goals.

What is a Stroke?

Strokes happen suddenly. And their effects can be debilitating. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain either bursts, or is blocked by a clot. This causes brain cells to die, resulting in potential paralysis, loss of speech, visual impairment and other problems.

A stroke isn't a one-size-fits-all condition. There are many forms, ranging from mild to severe. The two most common types of stroke are ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke occurs when there's a blockage (a clot or a narrowed artery) that restricts blood flow to the brain. Bleeding in the brain, due to a broken blood vessel, causes hemorrhagic strokes.

Warning Signs

It's important to recognize the warning signs of stroke, because, if you suffer a stroke, minutes count. The faster you can get to a hospital, the better your chances for a full recovery.

Here's a quick way to identify the signs of a stroke:

  • Facial paralysis, weakness or numbness
  • Arm paralysis, weakness or numbness (this usually occurs on one side of the body)
  • Speech that is slurred; trouble speaking or understanding - these symptoms accompanied by sudden confusion, loss of vision, or unexplained dizziness mean you need to get help FAST because,
  • Time is critical

Remember the FAST acronym. It might save your life!

Risk Factors

There are some risk factors you can't control. But there are many factors - changes in habits and lifestyle - that are in your power to change.

It's important to learn what you can do to decrease your chances of suffering from a debilitating a stroke:

  • Age (getting older puts you at risk)
  • Race (African Americans are at much higher risk for a stroke)
  • Family History (a strong family history puts you at higher risk)
  • High Blood Pressure (at the top of the list of controllable risk factors)
  • Smoking (increases blood pressure and encourages blood to clot)
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • High Cholesterol
  • Alcohol/Drug Abuse
  • Diabetes (can harm the blood vessels in the brain over time, often accompanied by high blood pressure)
  • Heart Disease

Atrial Fibrillation (can cause blood clots; if clot travels to the brain, a stroke may occur)
Our Stroke Center offers ongoing community education programs and stroke screenings to help you become aware of your risk and learn what steps you can take to get that risk under control. Check out the MidState's Calendar of Events for upcoming stroke programs.


DAWN Stroke Protocols

We offer patients screening using advanced image processing technology known as RAPID CT Perfusion, which pinpoints the area of damage caused by an ischemic stroke, locates salvable areas of brain tissue, and can establish a timeline for when the stroke occurred. This increases the window for acute treatment up to 24 hours.

Preventing a Stroke

There are many myths associated with strokes... "They only happen to the elderly." Or, "They can't be prevented." In reality, strokes can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnicities. Some factors are beyond your control, but many others aren't.

Preventing a stroke is similar to preventing many other health conditions, such as cancer and diabetes. It takes an understanding of your risk factors, planning and a commitment to making healthier choices.

Here's what you can do to help prevent a stroke:

  • Eat well
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you smoke, get the support you need to quit
  • If you have alcohol/drug abuse issues, get the support you need
  • Talk with your doctor about your: blood pressure, cholesterol, & diabetes

If you make healthy lifestyle choices, you'll be giving your brain and your body the best chance of keeping a stroke at bay.

Women's Choice Award - StrokeMidState Medical Center has been named one of America’s Best Stroke Centers by the Women’s Choice Award®, America’s trusted referral source for the best in healthcare. The award signifies that MidState is in the top 4% of 4,542 U.S. hospitals reviewed.

A stroke center must be certified by the Joint Commission Stroke Certification Program and/or Det Norske Veritas (DNV) as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and/or Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center to be considered for the award. Those with the Advanced Comprehensive designation receive additional credit.

It is the only award recognizing excellence in stroke care based on robust criteria that consider patient satisfaction and clinical excellence. The methodology used to select MidState as one of America’s Best Stroke Centers is unique in that it evaluates Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient survey results along with primary research about women’s healthcare preferences.

Hospitals must also score in the top 80% of all hospitals in the percent of patients receiving Head CT scan results within 45 minutes, and cannot have received a rating of Worse than the National Rate for the Deaths from Serious Treatable Complications measure.

MidState Medical Center is one of 459 award recipients representing the hospitals that have met the highest standards for stroke care across the U.S.

Stroke Center

American Heart Association & American Stroke Association Stroke Performance Achievement

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize this hospital for achieving 85% higher adherence to Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for consecutive 12 month intervals and 75% higher compliance with 6 of 10 Get With The Guidelines Stroke Quality Measures to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.