December 19, 2023

Life-changing care for patients who experience strokes

In Oregon, our stroke teams are providing patients with industry-leading emergency and long-term care.

At Kaiser Permanente, we're at the forefront of stroke prevention and treatment, providing the highest level of care to our patients when and where they need it.

The Kaiser Permanente Westside and Sunnyside medical centers in Oregon were recently honored with the Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award by the American Heart Association for our commitment to delivering the most effective and appropriate treatment for stroke patients.

Our clinicians and staff work together to deliver excellent care using evidence-based treatment protocols that are rooted in high-quality scientific research. This ensures that each patient gets the right care as quickly as possible.

Jeremy Fields, MD, regional stroke director for Kaiser Permanente in Oregon, recently shared insights about how to identify stroke symptoms and how Kaiser Permanente’s approach to stroke treatment improves the chances of recovery.

What’s the best way to improve outcomes in the event of a stroke?

Knowing the signs of a stroke is crucial because early recognition and immediate action can significantly improve the chances of a full recovery and minimize potential long-term effects. If people get to the hospital quickly, we can provide them with lifesaving and life-changing treatments.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

Strokes are most common among people over age 60, but they can happen at any age. Symptoms of a stroke appear abruptly and without warning. They can include sudden weakness or numbness, trouble with vision or speaking, confusion, or a severe headache. If you or someone you know has these symptoms, you should call 911 immediately.

How are stroke patients treated in the emergency room?

We’ve developed a system for identifying patients with a stroke in the ambulance. When someone who’s likely had a stroke enters our emergency room, our whole team begins treatment immediately. This can include delivering clot-busting medication and, in the case of large strokes, performing surgery to physically remove the clot that’s causing the stroke. At Kaiser Permanente, patients receive clot-busting medication more than twice as fast as the national average.

How is long-term care managed for stroke patients?

For many stroke patients, it is possible to go back to the activities you enjoyed before. After the initial emergency is treated, our coordinated after-care ensures that stroke patients have access to a network of specialists, including neurology, cardiology, and occupational therapy and physical therapy teams, as they recover.

Learn more about stroke care at Kaiser Permanente.