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Why Choose Swedish for Stroke Care?

Why Choose Swedish for Stroke Care?

We treat stroke patients every day!

Swedish stands out among other hospitals by offering comprehensive services at its Stroke Center. Why should you, your family and your neighbors say, "Take me to Swedish" if you experience stroke symptoms?

1. Our dedicated Stroke Team meets stroke patients coming by ambulance at the door of the Emergency Department. When know a stroke patient is on the way, a "Stroke Alert" is issued so that the stroke alert team, including a neurologist and dedicated stroke advanced practice nurse can assess patients and begin appropriate treatment right away. Neurologists are physicians who specialize in treating problems in the brain and nervous system.

2. We work with EMS providers across the Denver metro area. When they see a person experiencing signs and symptoms of stroke, they call ahead to notify Swedish of the potential stroke patient so that we can activate a "Stroke Alert" and be waiting for the patient. 

3. The hospital's interventional radiology department offers "round the clock" coverage by an interventional neuro-radiologist. These physicians can place catheters in a patient's artery to remove a blood clot that is causing a stroke. There are other procedures they do to repair arteries in the brain as well. These physicians work quickly with the neurologists to assess if a procedure to mechanically remove a clot in the brain is possible. State-of-the-art devices can be used to remove blood clots from the brain in eligible patients. Swedish participates in several clinical trials related to the use of these devices and catheters in acute stroke.

4. A dedicated AirLife stroke air transport team. These professionals are truly a "phone call away" to provide rapid transport to Swedish from hospitals all over the western region.

5. Swedish's partnership with the Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI). CNI provides outreach programs, education, rehabilitation services for patients and their families. We partner with CNI for stroke- related research studies.

6. Nurses and rehabilitation therapists (such as a physical therapist) who specialize in stroke and participate in continuing education for stroke care.

7. >Swedish's Acute Rehabilitation Unit, which specializes in acute neurological, stroke and trauma rehabilitation therapies. The professionals on this unit are experts in providing a "robust" therapy plan for each patient to help them recover and go home.

8. The CO-DOC program that uses telemedicine to deliver expert stroke diagnosis and treatment to stroke patients throughout Colorado.


Stroke Data Report
January to December 2014

Swedish Medical Center 2014 National Benchmark
Patients who arrive to Swedish within 12 hours of last being normal are seen rapidly by a neurologist within minutes of a Stroke Alert call. Median time 0 minutes for all Stroke Alert calls Joint Commission Goal: Available by phone within 30 minutes, in person within 45 minutes
Percentage of patients treated with IV tPA at Swedish (or via telemedicine and transferred to Swedish for higher level of care) 30% 3-8% (estimated national average)
Percentage of patents treated with IV tPA at Swedish with a symptomatic hemorrhage in the brain following administration 0 6% (NINDS trial)
Rapid treatment with IV tPA has been demonstrated to improve recovery after a stroke. Median door to IV tPA is 32 minutes Joint Commission Goal Door to treatment <60minutes, greater than 50% of the time
Our acute stroke surgical intervention team is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week for eligible patients. Rapid treatment has been shown to improve recovery Median door to procedure start time is 47 minutes Brain Attack Coalition Goal: Less than 120 minutes
Patients with severe narrowing of the arteries in the neck may be eligible for carotid artery stenting (CAS) to reduce risk of future stroke CAS Complication Rate 2.7% 7.2%

Leifer, D., et al. Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers: Detailed Follow-up to Brain Attack Coalition Comprehensive Stroke Center Recommendations. Stroke; 42: 849-877

The Joint Commission. 2014 Disease Specific Care Certification Requirements: An Education Program Resource

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke rt-PA Stroke Study Group. Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Acute Ischemic Stroke. N Engl J Med 1995; 333: 1581-1588

Powers, C.J., et al. Standards of Practice and Reporting Standards for Carotid Artery Angioplasty and Stenting. J NeuroIntervent Surg 2014; 6: 87-90