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Find the Best Local ER for Stroke Treatment You Need It

Just 2 to 4 percent of eligible stroke patients receive clot-busting, lifesaving tPA. In general, tPA can only be given in the first 3 hours after a stroke and only at a hospital with the facilities and doctors trained to diagnose a stroke swiftly. "Anyone at high risk for a stroke should know which ER is best equipped to help them," Dr. Wiebers says. "But everyone can benefit from knowing this." To find out, ask these questions of your family doctor, or call your local hospital's administrative office.

Does the hospital have an acute stroke team or a doctor experienced in diagnosing and treating stroke available around the clock, even on weekends?

Does the emergency room have a doctor on hand at all times to recognize and diagnose stroke and begin treatment?

Is there a CT or MRI scanner available around the clock for emergency use?

Is a neuroradiologist, radiologist, neurologist, or neurosurgeon always available to interpret brain imaging scans?

Is the lab open around the clock to check blood samples?

Is the staff experienced at administering tPA?

Once you've found the best local stroke treatment ER, call your local ambulance or rescue squad to be certain they would transport you there in case of a stroke.

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