Hospital Links

Stroke Services

covenant health emergency department sign
covenant health emergency stroke center

What is a Stroke?

Methodist Medical Center has received advanced certification from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. This means that our physicians and staff are specially trained to care for patients experiencing stroke symptoms, and that our facility has 24/7 stroke care coverage.

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted by a blocked or broken blood vessel. When a stroke occurs, it kills brain cells in the immediate area. When the brain cells die, they release chemicals that set off a chain reaction that endangers brain cells in a larger surrounding area of brain tissue. Without prompt medical treatment, this larger area will also die. When brain cells die, the abilities that area of the brain controls are lost or impaired. The degree of recovery depends on the amount of brain cell death.

There are several steps you can take to prevent stroke. The first is to know your risk for having a stroke. A stroke assessment will help you identify steps you may need to take to lower your risk level. There are also several prevention guidelines to help you guard against the possibility of stroke.



If You Think You are Experiencing Symptoms of Stroke – Seek Medical Attention Immediately!

Only 21% of patients with acute stroke arrived at the emergency department within 2 hours of symptom onset.  Immediate treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke?

A stroke is an attack on the blood vessels of your brain. Clinically known as a cerebrovascular accident, or CVA, a stroke is a sudden issue that occurs in the blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood to your brain. Your brain relies on this steady supply to function. 

When the blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted by a blocked or broken blood vessel, blood cannot reach the areas of your brain fed by these vessels. As a result, these areas of your brain start to get sick and die, deprived of the oxygen they need to survive. 

Without prompt medical treatment, including diagnostic screening and testing, neurology services, and rehabilitation, your brain is at increased risk of permanent damage, and even death. 

Strokes can result in lost or impaired mental and physical abilities. The degree of recovery for each patient is dependent on the amount of brain cells impacted and the areas of damage. Timing of treatment is often a crucial factor in stroke recovery prognosis.

Using the handy acronym, BE FAST, you can improve your ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke when they occur. 

Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to treating strokes. If you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke event, call 911 immediately! 

BE FAST—Your stroke symptom recognition guide

  • Balance—Is the person uncoordinated and having difficulty walking?
  • Eyes—Ask the person if they have double or blurred vision.
  • Face—Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms—Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech—Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time for help—If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 immediately!

Methodist Medical Center Stroke Resources

Care That Earns Awards Saves Lives


Methodist Medical Center

  • Hospital
  • Laboratory
  • Emergency Room

A not-for-profit, community-owned healthcare system

We are committed to improving the quality of life in East Tennessee through better health. In partnership with our generous donors, Covenant’s 10,000+ employees, physicians, and volunteers are providing outstanding care for our patients and their families.

Covenant Health