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What happens in the Emergency Department?

  • A stroke is considered a medical emergency. The ambulance should transport you to the nearest Primary Stroke Center where you will be evaluated within minutes.
  • If you have a stroke from a blood clot, and arrive within 4.5 hours from when your symptoms started, you may be eligible to receive a special medication that can break up the clot in the blood vessel going to your brain. It’s very important for you or your family to remember what time your symptoms started.
  • If your stroke is caused by a bleeding vessel in your brain, a neurosurgeon (a doctor who specializes in operating on the brain) may be contacted to see if the blood can be removed.
  • The Emergency Department stroke team will work quickly to determine the diagnostic testing, and treatment for your type of stroke. This will include imaging of the brain with a CT scan or MRI scan, bloodwork and heart monitoring.
  • At the RGH Emergency Department health care providers are stroke team members with specialized education in caring for people with stroke symptoms.