What can I expect at the hospital if I am having a stroke?

When you go to the hospital for a stroke, you'll be monitored, tested and go through other assessments.

If you suspect you are having a stroke, dial 911 immediately. After you call 911 and help arrives, the emergency response team in the ambulance and at the hospital or clinic will work to stabilize and monitor your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and breathing. Next, physicians and other members of the healthcare team will order tests, such as a CT scan or MRI to make the diagnosis.

If your doctor determines that you had a stroke, he or she must quickly determine if the stroke was ischemic (caused by a blockage) or hemorrhagic (caused by bleeding). If the stroke is caused by bleeding on the brain, it is possible that you may need surgery to treat the bleeding.

It will also be important for the doctor to figure out how long ago the stroke occurred because a stroke that happened within the last three hours is most effectively treated by opening up the blockage that caused the stroke. The blockage is opened with medication, or through a catheter-based procedure, an angioplasty. The treatment will be different depending on the type of stroke as well as your unique circumstances, such as your age and other risk factors.

Once a stroke patient arrives at the hospital, healthcare professionals will diagnose the type of stroke and administer medication.

Continue Learning about Stroke Treatment

Who is part of a stroke treatment team?
Swedish Medical CenterSwedish Medical Center
Nurses, radiologists, and rehabilitation specialists are all part of stroke treatment.
More Answers
Why must a stroke be treated immediately?
TriStar Southern Hills Medical CenterTriStar Southern Hills Medical Center
The frequency of strokes in the United States is rising, with up to 800,000 strokes occurring every ...
More Answers
What is tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)?
Phaniraj Iyengar, MDPhaniraj Iyengar, MD
TPA is given to stroke patients to cause the clot in the brain to break down, says Phaniraj Iyengar,...
More Answers
Are there alternative treatments for a stroke?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
A stroke is a life-threatening condition that requires emergency care. There are no alternative trea...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.