Stroke care in St. Petersburg, Florida

At Palms of Pasadena Hospital, our emergency room (ER) is staffed with physicians trained to quickly evaluate patients with stroke symptoms and administer lifesaving stroke care.

Seeking prompt medical attention at the onset of stroke warning signs is critical because delayed treatment can lead to disability or even death.

If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately.

What is a stroke?

A stroke results from an irregularity in blood flow and occurs when there is a clot in an artery supplying blood to the brain. The clot blocks blood flow and deprives the brain of vital oxygen. A stroke may also occur when a blood vessel or aneurysm bursts in the brain, causing bleeding in the brain and excess pressure.

When problems with blood flow occur, brain cells begin to die because oxygen and nutrients are unable to reach the brain.

Stroke symptoms

Education is key in stroke prevention. Knowing when you or a loved one needs to seek emergency care can save critical time. The faster treatment for a stroke is administered, the better the patient outcome.

Common signs and symptoms to watch for include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs—especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion or trouble talking
  • Sudden difficulty understanding speech
  • Sudden dizziness or trouble walking
  • Sudden loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Stroke diagnosis

When a patient with stroke symptoms arrives at the ER, our first priority is prompt, accurate evaluation and confirmation of what type of stroke is taking place.

Our emergency physicians have easy access to expedited laboratory and imaging services to diagnose a stroke, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), computed tomography (CT) and brain perfusion scanning (displays blood flow in the brain).

Our hospital has neurologists on staff to perform neurological examinations and teleneurology consultations. Teleneurology provides patients with 24/7 access to neurologists and stroke experts who aid ER physicians at the bedside.

Stroke treatment

Palms of Pasadena Hospital is recognized as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. This acknowledgement means our program complies with the highest national standards for safety and quality care in the rapid response and treatment of acute stroke patients.

If a stroke is identified, a clot-busting drug—called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)—can be administered within three hours of symptom onset. This drug effectively breaks up the clot preventing proper blood flow and restores the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

Stroke rehabilitation

Stroke rehabilitation is key for a patient's long-term recovery. Our hospital's physical therapy and rehabilitation department is staffed by highly trained rehabilitation specialists who provide physical, occupational, speech and aquatic therapies to assist patients recovering from a stroke. Each patient receives an individualized rehabilitation plan tailored to their needs and abilities.