Stroke Experts Available 24/7
Seconds count when responding to stroke. Neurons die rapidly during the first hours after stroke onset, and limiting the extent of damage requires urgent evaluation and treatment. That’s why the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Acute Stroke Team (FAST) is available around the clock.
Stroke Experts Offer Rapid Diagnosis and Treatment
The team provides immediate and experienced stroke expertise to determine if the latest treatments can benefit a stroke patient. The team provides stroke patients with rapid access to expert diagnosis and treatment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Team members include critical care neurologists, interventional neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency medicine physicians and nurse specialists – all of the experts needed for complete emergency stroke care.
Stopping More Strokes with tPA Treatment
Restoring Blood Flow
This image shows how applying clot-dissolving drugs like tPA directly to a blockage (intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy) or removing the clot with a special device can restore blood flow to the brain.
Studies have shown that thrombolytic drugs, or clot-busters, effectively stop ischemic strokes and improve patient outcomes if specialists trained in giving the drugs are immediately available. Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke and are caused by blockage of an artery. The most widely known and the only FDA-approved drug for treatment of ischemic stroke — intravenous tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) — can reverse stroke if given to carefully selected patients within a few hours of stroke onset. Neuro-interventional treatments offered at Froedtert hospital can expand the treatment window to 12 hours and beyond in some cases. This means a high percentage of appropriate patients can receive tPA or a procedure to open a blocked blood vessel.
A specialized computed tomography scan, or CT scan, of the brain, which helps physicians determine the best strategies for restoring blood flow and saving brain tissue.
Our FAST professionals have successfully used tPA since 1996, and actively teach other hospitals how to safely administer this drug. Other new advances in stroke treatment are available, including minimally invasive procedures to restore blood flow to the brain. These procedures may remove clots, prop arteries open (carotid artery stenting) and apply clot-dissolving drugs directly to the blockage (intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy).
FAST professionals offer patients the following advantages:
- 24-7 emergency department coverage by stroke specialists
- Specialized protocols for rapid evaluation
- Average door-to-CT (diagnosis) time less than 40 minutes
- Average door-to-tPA time less than 60 minutes
- More procedures for stroke intervention are performed at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin than any other hospital in Wisconsin.