Emergency treatment focused on your recovery
Nationally Recognized Stroke Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton
When you’re having a stroke, time is of the essence. This medical emergency occurs when blood is prevented from reaching part of your brain. But with early treatment, we can restore blood flow. This may prevent death and long-term disability.
At Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton, we’ve been recognized for our stroke care by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA). Their “Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Award” honors hospitals that work to ensure patients receive the most appropriate stroke treatment. The AHA/ASA also recognized our commitment to helping patients receive treatment as quickly as possible.
Types of Stroke
There are several types of stroke:
- Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel breaks, causing bleeding in your brain.
- Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel becomes blocked. This cuts off part of the brain’s blood supply. Ischemic strokes are the most common.
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA) occurs when blood is temporarily blocked. This is called a warning stroke because it can be a sign that a more serious stroke is in your future.
Getting quick stroke care begins with recognizing the symptoms.
B.E.F.A.S.T. may help you identify the signs of a stroke:
Balance — Does the person have a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
Eyes — Does the person have a sudden change in vision or trouble seeing?
Face — Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
Arms — Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech — Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
Time — If you observe any of these signs, call 911 right away.
When you arrive at the emergency department, we quickly evaluate your symptoms. If we suspect a stroke, we may order imaging studies, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. These tests help us determine if you’re having an ischemic stroke. If so, we decide if you’re a good candidate for the clot-busting drug alteplase, (also known as tissue plasminogen activator, or TPA). If you are, we provide the drug to reduce your chances of long-term brain damage.
For the most complex strokes, we may transfer you to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where they offer the most advanced stroke treatments.
Following your initial treatment, Rehabilitation may be an important part of your recovery.
Learn More About Tissue Plasminogen Activators
As a tissue plasminogen activator, or TPA, alteplase injection can be a very effective treatment for ischemic stroke. Here’s what you should know about the drug.
Alteplase is a clot buster. It helps restore blood flow, which may limit or even reverse stroke side effects.
We give alteplase through an intravenous (IV) line.
Alteplase is only used to treat ischemic strokes. And doctors must give it within hours of your first stroke symptoms. Getting to the hospital quickly allows us to determine which type of stroke you’re having and give you the drug quickly and safely.