May 28, 2024 Understanding Stroke Centers

What is a Primary Stroke Center?*

To be certified as a Primary Stroke Center, a hospital must meet the following criteria, according to the NJ Department of Health.

  • Have a stroke team, which includes board-certified neurologists and radiologists
  • Have neurology and Emergency Department personnel trained in diagnosing and treating stroke
  • Offer neuroimaging services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as rehabilitation services
  • Maintain transfer arrangements with a Comprehensive Stroke Center in NJ
  • Track outcomes for stroke patients
  • Educate the public about strokes

What is a Comprehensive Stroke Center?*

Comprehensive Stroke Centers provide the same services as Primary Stroke Centers, in addition to:

  • A neurosurgical team capable of assessing and treating complex stroke and stroke-like syndromes
  • Neuroimaging services with digital subtraction angiography and a special procedures suite equipped for neuro-interventional procedures that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Comprehensive rehabilitation services either on site or by transfer agreement with another health care facility
  • The development of policies regarding ongoing evaluation and quality improvement activities by using data maintained by the center

RWJBarnabas Health Primary Stroke Centers

RWJBarnabas Health Comprehensive Stroke Centers

Stroke Symptoms

BE FAST – know the symptoms of stroke

  • Balance – Have you lost your balance, felt a sudden headache or felt dizzy?
  • Eyes – Is your vision blurry?
  • Face – Are you feeling numbness, or seeing drooping, on one side of your face?
  • Arm – Do you have feeling in both arms? Can you raise them both up without one drifting down?
  • Speech – Are you slurring your speech? Can you form coherent sentences?
  • Terrible Headache – Sudden terrible or ‘thunderclap’ headache with no known cause
  • Time – If any of the above symptoms are occurring, call 911 immediately.

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For more information visit Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack.