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A stroke is a medical emergency where blood flow to the brain is either reduced or stopped, depriving brain tissue of essential oxygen and nutrients. A stroke may cause loss in brain function and affect movement and speech.

Stroke care in the Greater Houston area

While experiencing a medical emergency, such as a stroke, every minute matters.

With a combination of 10 Primary and Comprehensive Stroke Centers in our network, HCA Houston Healthcare has more stroke centers than any other health system in Houston. We offer the infrastructure, imaging capabilities and expertise to support some of the highest level of stroke care, including minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Are you at risk of a stroke?

Identifying health factors can help prepare you for urgent medical conditions. Use our free online assessment to better understand your stroke risk.

Identifying health factors can help prepare you for urgent medical conditions. Use our free online assessment to better understand your stroke risk.

Stroke services we offer

During a stroke, rapid treatment is critical to decrease the chances of long-term disability or death. From emergency surgery to rehabilitation, we are proud to provide our communities with convenient, fast and lifesaving stroke care close to home.

Emergency stroke care

From Cleveland to Clear Lake, HCA Houston Healthcare offers over 20 sites for emergency care across the Greater Houston area. In addition to our hospital based emergency rooms, our HCA Houston ER 24/7 freestanding emergency rooms are located throughout the communities we serve and provide direct admission by ambulance to an HCA Houston Healthcare affiliated hospital or other hospital of your choice. We are also highly committed to reducing door-to-needle (DTN) times and being on the forefront of leading edge breakthroughs in stroke treatment, such as mechanical thrombectomy.

Stroke signs

When left untreated or not treated soon enough, strokes can lead to life-long physical, motor or mental impairment, and even loss of life.

If you notice someone is displaying signs and symptoms of stroke, we encourage you to remember B.E. F.A.S.T. to save a life and reduce long-term health complications. B.E. F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • Balance Has the person experienced a sudden loss of balance or trouble walking?
  • Eyes Has the person experienced vision problems or loss?
  • Face — Does the person’s face droop when they smile?
  • Arms — When you ask the person to lift their arms, does one arm drift down?
  • Speech — Does the person sound confused when speaking and are they unable to repeat simple sentences?
  • Time — If the person shows any of these stroke symptoms, call 911.

Other stroke symptoms include:

  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Severe headache
  • Sudden onset of confusion
  • Temporary memory problems
  • Vertigo or dizziness

Stroke treatment and recovery

The earlier the medical intervention, the better the outcome. This is why HCA Houston Healthcare is dedicated to providing care as quickly as possible. Stroke treatment options are based on the type of stroke you or a loved one may be experiencing.

Ischemic strokes may be treated with IV medication, such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or endovascular procedures like mechanical thrombectomy. Hemorrhagic strokes may be treated through surgical procedures to remove the blood, relieve cranial pressure or to repair blood vessel problems.

It is very common for you to require rehabilitation as part of your stroke recovery. Stroke rehabilitation can help you relearn skills and movements that may have been lost due to stroke. If the stroke causes you to have a long-term disability, rehabilitation can help you learn to live with that disability.

Our compassionate physical, speech and occupational therapists work to create a customized therapy regimen geared towards your long-term health.

Types of stroke

A stroke occurs when blood flow to any part of the brain is blocked. When blood flow is cut off, oxygen is not carried to the brain cells and those cells begin to die, continuing to do so until the blockage is repaired. Strokes must be treated rapidly to reduce the risk of long-term effects and disabilities. There are three types of strokes, including:

  • Hemorrhagic strokes — These occur when a blood vessel in the brain weakens and bursts, allowing blood to leak into the brain. The most common cause of a hemorrhagic stroke is hypertension.
  • Ischemic strokes — These occur when an artery is blocked by a blood clot. Fat, cholesterol and other substances build up in the body over time, which makes it difficult for blood to flow properly to the brain.
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) — These are a type of mini stroke. TIAs are caused by a temporary clot, meaning that blood flow was cut off temporarily by a clot, but was restored.

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