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Neuroscience and Stroke

You May Not Be Prepared for a Stroke, But We Are.

Know the signs of strokeCovenant Health is our region’s only network of stroke-certified hospitals in East Tennessee, which means no matter where you live, stroke care is always nearby.

Our emergency department staffs and EMS personnel work together to identify stroke patients and provide treatment within a narrow window of time. And, each hospital in our network is certified with the advanced diagnostics and training needed to diagnose stroke and administer tPA, a medicine that breaks down stroke-causing blood clots.

Our certifications in hospitals throughout our area mean you have quicker access to life-saving stroke treatment which can reduce the risk of post-stroke disabilities and most importantly, save your life.

Our Region’s Only Stroke-Certified Hospital Network

Across Covenant Health’s stroke network, more than 93% of patients who come to the emergency department with stroke symptoms are seen in less than 15 minutes.

Comprehensive Stroke and Rehabilitation Center

Comprehensive Stroke and Rehabilitation Centers provide the highest level of stroke care, with the advanced technology and trained staff to treat even the most complex stroke patients. Stroke treatment, including interventional procedures that remove the blood clot from the brain, is available around the clock with a dedicated neurointensive ICU and the most advanced imaging capacities available to diagnose and treat stroke.

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, is our region’s only only comprehensive stroke and rehabilitation center. Fort Sanders Regional treats patients with the most complex strokes and perform clinical trials and procedures found nowhere else in our area.

3 out of 4 patients who receive treatment for a stroke at Fort Sanders Regional are able to walk out of the hospital.

And only Fort Sanders Regional is home to the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, East Tennessee’s elite rehabilitation hospital for stroke, spinal cord and brain injury patients. PNRC is our region’s only stroke rehabilitation center accredited by CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

Advanced Primary Stroke Centers

Advanced primary stroke centers have a dedicated stroke-focused team with qualified medical professionals and staff trained in stroke care. These centers offer individualized care to meet the needs of their stroke patients, and can often stabilize and successfully treat patients with tPA who do not require surgical intervention for the removal of a blood clot. Advanced primary stroke centers are critical to the success of Covenant Health’s stroke network, as they provide stroke care in the communities we serve throughout East Tennessee, making lifesaving treatment readily available when seconds matter the most. Our primary advanced stroke centers are:

Acute Stroke-Ready Center

Claiborne Medical Center is certified as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital. This certification recognizes facilities which meet the standards to support stroke care as part of a larger stroke system of care. Acute stroke ready hospitals must have a dedicated stroke-focused program with qualified medical professionals and staff. They must also have a relationship with local EMS that encourages training for stroke assessment.  These centers must be able to perform rapid diagnostic imaging and laboratory testing to administer tPA and have access to transfer patients to a higher level of stroke care when needed.

What is a Stroke?

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.

Types of Strokes

Ischemic strokes. These are strokes caused by blockage of an artery (or, in rare instances, a vein). About 87% of all strokes are ischemic.

Hemorrhagic stroke. These are strokes caused by bleeding. About 13% of all strokes are hemorrhagic.

How Do I Prevent Stroke?

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.

Patient Testimonials

Alline Little

When suffering a stroke, the paramedics told Little they were taking her to Fort Sanders Regional. After undergoing successful treatment, she says, “The paramedics said Fort Sanders Regional was the best for treating strokes. I’d read that on billboards, but I believe it now. We definitely believe it.”

Brenda Lee

Quick access to Fort Loudoun Medical Center, an advanced primary stroke center, gave Tellico Plains resident Brenda Lee immediate access to a stroke diagnosis and specialized interventional care at Fort Sanders Regional.

Adam Hill

When interventional radiologist Keith Woodward, MD, repairs an aneurysm, Adam Hill stands beside him and hands him the instruments. But  Hill, who works in the Fort Sanders Regional interventional radiology lab, learned what it’s like to be the patient when he experienced a brain aneurysm.

Jim Cogdill

Stroke patient regains mobility and function through three weeks of therapy at Patricia Neal.