The period after a stroke can be a stressful time for you and your family. At Guthrie, we are here to help you prevent stroke when possible and care for you if a stroke happens. We understand what you are going through and provide support and excellent care. You’re not alone.

A person having a stroke needs immediate medical attention. Know the BE FAST signs of a stroke:

BALANCE - Are you noticing a loss of balance?
EYES - Is there a sudden loss of vision?

FACE DROOPING - Smile. Is the smile uneven or is one side drooping?
ARM WEAKNESS - Raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward or is one arm weak or numb?
SPEECH DIFFICULTY - Repeat a simple sentence. Is the sentence repeated correctly?
TIME TO CALL 9-1-1 - Call 9-1-1 if you show any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms disappear.

What is a stroke?

Stroke is caused by a clot or rupture in the blood vessels that carry oxygen to the brain. When the brain does not receive the oxygen it needs, brain cells can die. This affects different functions in the body depending on the location of the clot or rupture.

There are three different types of stroke: ischemic stroke caused by a clot; hemorrhagic stroke caused by a rupture in an aneurysm and mini-stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack) caused by a temporary clot.

Many diseases can put you at higher risk for having a stroke: atrial fibrillation or AFib, hypertension or high blood pressure, carotid artery disease, peripheral arterial disease.

How can stroke be prevented?

  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Treat high blood pressure, if you have it
  • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
  • Be physically active
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Schedule regular visits with your provider

WATCHMAN: If you have Atrial fibrillation, you are at higher risk for stroke. Watchman is a minimally invasive device that prevents clots formed in the left atrial appendage (LAA) from traveling in the body. It is an alternative to blood thinners for many patients.

Guthrie Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic specializes in treating pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the heart and lungs. Our team of physicians and staff work with your primary care and specialty care providers to develop personalized and coordinated care just for you.

How is stroke diagnosed?

If you think you are having a stroke, it is an emergency and you should call 911. Once at the hospital your emergency team needs to determine if you are having a stroke and what type.

Testing may include the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan or computerized tomography angiography (CTA)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or magnetic resonance angiography or magnetic resonance venography
  • Carotid ultrasound
  • Echocardiogram

How is stroke treated?

Ischemic Stroke: Doctors quickly attempt to restore blood flow to the brain by dissolving a clot with medication, removing the clot through a catheter, or a combination or treatments.

Doctors may recommend that you have other procedures to reduce your risk of further strokes including:

  • Carotid endarterectomy – a surgery to remove plaque from the carotid arteries, the main arteries that run along the side of your neck.
  • Angioplasty and stents – a small catheter is threaded through and artery in your groin to your carotid arteries. A small balloon is inflated to expand a narrowed artery. A stent is placed to support the opened artery.

Hemorrhagic Stroke: Doctors quickly attempt to stop the bleeding and decrease pressure on the brain.

Stroke Care at Guthrie

  • Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, Guthrie Lourdes Hospital and Corning Hospital are now certified Primary Stroke Centers: What does this mean for our community?  The Joint Commission and American Heart Association provide accreditation to hospitals that meet the most rigorous quality and safety standards for patients. It shows our community that Guthrie always strives to improve stroke patient outcomes and is recognized for their commitment to providing safe, high quality care – time after time.
  • Accredited Stroke Program: We have a comprehensive program for the treatment and recovery from stroke.
  • Board-certified vascular and neurology specialists: Our team of neurologists and vascular surgeons work together to treat patients suffering from hemorrhagic stroke in Guthrie's newly designed Interventional Radiology suite. 
  • Hybrid operating room: The stroke team can perform imaging studies in the sterile environment of the operating room eliminating the need to move patients to another location in the hospital once a procedure has started. Additionally, having the ability to switch from minimally invasive to open procedures, if necessary, keeps the patient in the same room if the surgical team needs to change its approach.
  • Interventional Radiology Suite: Our vascular trained neurosurgeon can work together with the stroke team to treat patients suffering from hemorrhagic stroke or treatment of aneurysms.
  • Acute Rehabilitation: For patients who would benefit from inpatient rehabilitation, the Newman W. Benson Acute Rehabilitation Unit at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, Towanda Campus provides management of medical needs and physical rehabilitation after injury or illness such as stroke, neurological condition, hip fracture or brain injury. 

  • Support Groups: Starting Fall 2024, Guthrie will be hosting monthly support groups for patients and caregivers. This will provide our community with resources, fun activities and emotional guidance in the event of stroke.

Guthrie heart surgeons are part of the largest cardiac care team in the northern Pa. and southern N.Y. Your heart is in good hands at Guthrie.

Guthrie interventional cardiology has advanced training in cardiac catheterization, performing ablation, stenting, angioplasty other structural heart procedures.

Our electrophysiology doctors and arrhythmia center teams help treat patients with arrhythmia issues like aFib using pacemakers or procedures like ablation.

Guthrie Cardiac and Vascular team treats patients with circulatory diseases: abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease. 

For patients who would benefit from inpatient rehabilitation, the Newman W. Benson Acute Rehabilitation Unit at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, Towanda Campus provides management of medical needs and physical rehabilitation after injury or illness such as stroke, neurological condition, hip fracture or brain injury. 

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