Christiana Care Neurosciences

About Our Stroke Program

Excellence in Stroke Care

The Christiana Hospital Stroke Program has been recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the most advanced level of expertise in stroke care by national certifying organization The Joint Commission. We provide 24-7 availability of expertise in stroke care including neurologists, neurosurgeons, and neurointerventional radiologists. For patients who arrive within a few hours of the start of stroke symptoms, we offer a full range of emergency treatment options including medications and advanced surgical techniques to restore blood flow to the brain and prevent further brain injury.

Our expert physicians staff both The Lanny Edelsohn, M.D. Neuro Critical Care Unit, an 18-bed specialized intensive care unit for patients critically ill from severe stroke, and the 24-bed Stroke Treatment and Recovery (STAR) unit, where patients prepare to leave the hospital and resume a healthy life. Nurses specially trained in stroke care work with patients and their families to maximize recovery in both the Neuro Critical Care and STAR units. Patients are evaluated and treated by rehabilitation teams skilled in physical, occupational, speech, and cognitive therapies. We address each patient’s specific, individual needs for maximum recovery, and focus on patient and family goals in addition to the latest medical therapies for stroke. Dedicated case managers and social workers assist in the transition from the hospital to the next step in recovery. After leaving the hospital, expert consultation and continued care is provided by vascular (stroke) neurologists and rehabilitation specialists in the office setting.

Advanced treatment for stroke

The care team of the Christiana Care Comprehensive Stroke Program offers our patients the most advanced stroke treatment options.

In stroke treatment, time lost is brain lost. One standard treatment for stroke due to blockage of blood flow is a clot dissolving medication (intravenous alteplase). The faster you are treated with this medication, the more likely you will remain independent after a stroke. In 2017, patients who arrived at Christiana Care emergency department sites received this medication on average within 35 minutes of arrival, which is faster than the average goal time of within 45 minutes set by the American Stroke Association. More than 30% of patients received this medication within 30 minutes of arrival. Calling 9-1-1 at the first sign of a stroke will help Emergency Medical Services and the Christiana Care Stroke Team to work together to treat a stroke as quickly as possible.

For some severe strokes, when a very large blood vessel is blocked, a second treatment option is a mechanical thrombectomy. This minimally invasive procedure involves physical removal of the blood clot from the blood vessel within the brain itself. When this procedure is performed at Christiana Hospital, our neurointerventional surgeons are able to successfully remove the blood clot and restore blood flow well above 90% of the time. (In technical terms, TICI 2b/3 reperfusion during mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke was achieved at rates of 95% last fiscal year, and 97% this year to date.) We collaborate with other hospitals in the region to offer this service when needed to all stroke patients throughout our community, regardless of where you live.

Stroke Resource Guide (PDF, 4.3MB)