What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when a part of the brain’s blood supply is suddenly interrupted by a clot or when a blood vessel bursts. When blood flow is blocked, brain cells die because oxygen and nutrients cannot get through. Stroke is a leading cause of disability among adults in the United States and the fourth leading cause of death. About 795,000 people suffer new or recurrent stroke each year.

Stroke Warning Signs

Stroke is a medical emergency. When it comes to a stroke and your brain’s recovery, every second counts. If you notice one or more of these signs, don’t wait. Call 911 or your emergency medical services right away.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Certified Primary Stroke Center

Fawcett Memorial Hospital is designated as a Primary Stroke Center from the Joint Commission. This certification ensures compliance with consensus-based national standards and use of evidence-based practices to manage patient care. Research shows that patient outcomes improve when patients are treated at Primary Stroke Centers.

The Stroke Center of Excellence at Fawcett Memorial Hospital is a 33 bed Progressive Care Unit. The designated Stroke Unit consists of dedicated, competent, caring nurses, skilled in the area of neurological care. Our nurses work with a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals, neurologists, and neurosurgeons.

What Does This Mean to You or Your Loved One?

  • Communication between the ambulance team and the hospital are in place before patient arrives to the Emergency Department. “Stroke Alert” can be called from the field by emergency personnel, it can be initiated by the triage nurse in the Emergency Department, and it can also be called for in-hospital patients and families that begin to exhibit signs and symptoms of stroke.
  • “Stroke Alert” Team of highly skilled medical professionals – including emergency physicians, surgeons, neurologists, nurses, therapists, laboratory and pharmacy staff, and radiologists – who are specially trained to respond quickly and completely to the needs of a stroke patient.
  • Each patient is immediately evaluated and treated using a uniform and extensive set of guidelines that address both emergency treatment and ongoing care.
  • A head CT scan or brain MRI scan can be performed and interpreted within 45 minutes of the stroke patient being admitted.
  • A fully functioning medical laboratory is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to analyze and provide test results in a timely manner.
  • In case of ischemic stroke, administration of thrombolytic medication (intravenous thrombolysis) to break up the clot, restoring blood flow to the brain.
  • Stroke rehabilitation started immediately after hospitalization to improve long-term outcomes and decrease stroke-related complications.
  • On-going acute care to facilitate faster return to normal life for the patient.

Awards & Accreditations

  • Fawcett Memorial Hospital received Primary Stroke Care Certification in April 2005
    • 1st HCA hospital in Florida, 7th hospital in Florida, 13th in the United States
  • 2010-2011 “GOLD PLUS” Designation for the “Get with the Guidelines” Program
  • CARF Accredited Rehabilitation Program
  • Voted “Best Hospital & Best ER” by the Charlotte Sun every year since 2003
  • Voted “Best Hospital” by Florida Weekly every year since 2009

Stroke Survivor Support Group

Recent scientific studies are validating the importance of social support in stroke recovery. Social interaction and simply feeling connected to others helps ease the depression and isolation so common after stroke. Fawcett Memorial Hospital offers the “Stroke Survivor Support Group” on a monthly basis. For more information, please contact stroke coordinator, Amanda Neel, BSN, RN, at (941) 629-1181 ext. 6548.

Continuum of Care