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Stroke Center

Neurology Stroke Program and Stroke Services in Olympia

When a stroke occurs, every second counts. Recognizing the signs of a stroke and getting early treatment can mean the difference between recovery or lifelong disability. Providence St. Peter Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the state that provides 24-hour nationally accredited stroke care.

We have treatments available that can often reverse the debilitating effects of stroke. These include:

  • tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), which can be given through a vein while the patient is still in the emergency center. This “clot busting” drug is the only FDA-approved stroke treatment.
  • More complex treatments for patients who do not qualify for intravenous tPA. For example, a highly trained specialist can pass a catheter through an artery directly to the blockage in order to break up or extract the clot.

Our Stroke Teams

Our stroke teams include specially trained neurologists, radiologists, nurses, rehabilitation physicians and therapists. If needed, neurosurgeons are also available to provide surgical expertise. Using the latest diagnostic and surgical techniques, physicians can identify diseases impacting the blood vessels of the brain. They offer a variety of treatments to reverse stroke injury and treat the cause of stroke.

With every stroke patient, our stroke teams focus on four key areas:

  • Why and how this stroke occurred
  • How best to prevent a second stroke
  • How to prevent complications from this stroke
  • Rehabilitation therapies to maximize the patient’s recovery from this stroke

Inpatient Care

During their hospital stay, stroke patients receive detailed medical evaluations to determine the cause of their stroke and to prevent future strokes. The acute care generally takes place in the stroke unit, a dedicated area in the hospital that provides specialized nursing care.

We evaluate each patient and create a tailor-made care. This plan includes contributions from a stroke physician, a stroke specialty nurse, rehabilitation and nutritional therapists and a care coordinator.

The team typically begins working with the patient on the first hospital day. They continue working daily with the patient and family to improve medical management and maximize recovery. They carefully consider the best place for the patient to go and what type of follow-up will be needed once he or she leaves the hospital.

Rehabilitation and Follow-up Care

Rehabilitation helps lead to recovery after stroke. Providence St. Peter Hospital offers many resources for rehabilitation, follow-up care and patient education:

  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy for hospitalized patients
  • Post-acute rehabilitation at our CARF-accredited rehabilitation unit on the Providence St. Peter Hospital campus
  • Outpatient therapy at our rehabilitation center
  • Referrals to counselors, support groups, health resource centers and community services
  • TIA clinic for patients who have been seen in the emergency center for a TIA or “mini-stroke”