Because stroke cuts off blood supply to part of the brain, rapid diagnosis and treatment is the key to minimizing disability. At Newton Medical Center, we have established guidelines to ensure that stroke patients receive care as quickly as possible.
Comprehensive, 24/7 medical service is provided by our team of experts, which consists of board-certified emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, radiologists, internal medicine hospitalists and nurses with specialized training in stroke care.
Our diagnostic and treatment options for stroke include:
- Computed tomography (CT) – Using X-ray images that create a detailed image of the brain, CT scans play a key role in determining if a patient is having a stroke and what type they may be experiencing. Doctors may sometimes also inject a dye into the patient’s blood stream so they can see the blood vessels in the brain in greater detail – also known as CT angiography.
- Laboratory services – These tests give health care providers an understanding of a patient’s blood clotting time, if an infection is present, as well as glucose levels and blood chemistry – all of which must be managed as part of stroke treatment.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Using powerful radio waves and magnets to create detailed images, an MRI can detect if brain tissue has been damaged by an ischemic stroke or hemorrhage.
- Carotid ultrasound – This test uses sound waves to give health care providers an inside look at the neck’s carotid arteries, thereby revealing the blood flow and any fatty deposits, or plaque, that may be present.
- Intravenous thrombolytics – Medications such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), also known as a “clot buster,” have been shown to improve outcomes when provided within the first four and a half hours following a stroke.
- Transcranial Doppler – Doppler ultrasound measures the speed of blood flow in blood vessels and arteries. This noninvasive technique also assesses blood vessel spasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage and other types of stroke.
The Stroke Center at Newton Medical Center treats some types of cerebrovascular disease, but those patients that require neurosurgical intervention may be referred to the Stroke Centers at Overlook and Morristown medical centers.