Treating a Stroke

Fast Action Needed to Prevent Death and Disability

The first step is to be aware of the signs of stroke and to realize that those signs mean there's an emergency. Getting to a hospital right away is a key to reducing or preventing death or disability.

There are over 100 state-designated stroke centers throughout New York with special expertise in identifying and treating stroke patients. Emergency Medical Services staff members have received special training to recognize stroke patients and take them to the nearest designated stroke center.

Calling 911 is the best way to assure you get the specialized care you'll need.

For ischemic strokes, a drug treatment known as tissue plasminogen activator, or t-PA helps to dissolve the clot that is blocking blood from getting to areas of the brain. t-PA is only appropriate for patients who are diagnosed as having an ischemic stroke and then only within three hours of the beginning of any symptoms. The sooner t-PA is given, the better the chances are for a full recovery.

Because of the short window of opportunity for effective treatment it is critical to seek emergency care at the first symptom of a stroke.