Stroke Center

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Overview

At UofL Hospital, we are committed to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care. Residents of the Louisville and Southern Indiana region who suffer a stroke can be confident they will receive the highest level of stroke care possible here.

We have received the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for eight straight years. The award recognizes our commitment to and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients.

In February 2013, UofL Hospital became home to the first Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Kentucky, and the 20th in the nation. This accreditation recognizes our ability to provide the most comprehensive stroke treatments available.

In 2011, we became the first hospital in Kentucky to receive the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for our commitment to providing tPA (a medication that dissolves blood clots) promptly after patients arrive at the hospital.

Our mission is to provide quality, individualized healthcare to our citizens and reduce the incidence, morbidity and mortality of stroke through direct care, community education and research.

The University of Louisville Hospital Stroke Center achieved the highest recognition with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, receiving the Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Award for the last 11 years. The recognition is awarded for meeting performance guidelines for the treatment and management of stroke patients from hospital admission to discharge.

  • Target Stroke  Honor Roll (2012-2016)
  • AHA Gold Plus Award (2007-2018)
  • Target Stroke Elite Plus Award (2015 - 2018)

At the University of Louisville Hospital Stroke Center, directed by Kerri Remmel, M.D., we focus on providing care that has been shown to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients.

To receive the Gold Plus award, University of Louisville Hospital achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals, and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. 

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.           

In addition to the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke award, UofL Hospital also has been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital. A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

Kentucky is in the Stroke Belt. The Stroke Belt is an 11-state region of the U.S. where studies show the risk of stroke is 34 percent higher for the general population than it is in other areas of the country, and death rates are more than 10 percent higher than the U.S. average. 

According to the American Heart/Stroke Association:

  • Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of long-term disability
  • Stroke is the leading cause of preventable disability
  • Approximately 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke every year, with about three in four being first-time strokes
  • Every four minutes someone dies of a stroke
  • More women than men have strokes each year
  • African Americans are more impacted by stroke than any other racial group within the American population

Data: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In 2014, 2,050 Kentuckians died of stroke, which represented 1.5 percent of all deaths for that year.  Among all states, Kentucky had the 11th-highest stroke mortality rate in the nation (41.8 deaths per 100,000 population – age adjusted).

Data: Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics

In 2015, 4 percent of Kentuckians had been told they have had a stroke. 

Data Source: 2015 KY Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 

Types of Stroke

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, causing brain tissue to die.

There are 2 types of stroke:

  • Ischemic Stroke: Blockage of blood flow to the brain due to a blood clot or plaque buildup in the arteries. Ischemic Strokes are the most common and represent 87 percent of all strokes.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: This type of stroke represents 13 percent of all strokes due to bleeding into the brain tissue or subarachnoid space from a ruptured blood vessel.
    • The two types of hemorrhagic strokes are subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hemorrhage.
      • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) occurs when a blood vessel on the surface of the brain ruptures and bleeds into the space between the brain and the skull.
      • Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) occurs when a blood vessel bleeds into the tissue deep within the brain.

A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is transient symptoms of a stroke caused by temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, but does not leave permanent damage.  Symptoms usually resolve within a few minutes.  Having a TIA is a medical emergency and increases the risk of having a stroke

Symptoms of a Stroke

Stroke is a medical emergency!  Call 911 immediately!

Risk Factors

Some of the most common modifiable risk factors leading to a stroke are:

  • High blood pressure (the No. 1 risk factor for all strokes)
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Tobacco abuse
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Physical inactivity and obesity
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • TIA
  • Excessive alcohol abuse
  • Illegal drug use

Stroke Survivor and Caregiver Support Group

Stroke support groupUofL Hospital’s stroke care doesn’t end when you leave the hospital. Many stroke survivors and their caregivers experience a range of emotions as they adjust back to normal daily activities. Our team is here to help. Join us for our free support groups where you can enjoy lunch while talking openly with others who share similar experiences. All are welcome.

Louisville

When:
September 21
October 19
November 16
December 21
Time: 12 p.m. –  2 p.m.

Where:
Crescent Hill Library
2762 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
Lunch will be provided

Campbellsville

When:
September 7
October 5
November 2
December 14
Time: 1 p.m. -  3 pm.

Where:
Taylor Co Public Library 
1316 E Broadway Street
Campbellsville, KY 42718
Lunch will be provided
 

Questions?

Contact: Carrie Crockett
Phone: 502-645-5425
 

Laura Bystrek, Stroke Center program manager
Phone:
502-217-5139
E-mail: laurabys@ulh.org

Kelly Stickels, Stroke Center coordinator
Phone:
502-562-4645
E-mail: kellysti@ulh.org

Jennafer Bishop, outpatient stroke coordinator
Phone:
502-588-4860
E-mail: jennafer.bishop@ulp.org

Judy Bullard, Stroke Center program assistant
Phone:
502-562-8009
E-mail: judybul@ulh.org

Carrie Crockett, CSW Stroke Social Worker
Phone: 502-645-5425
E-mail: carrsorr@ulh.org