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Stroke

A stroke is a medical emergency where blood flow to the brain is either reduced or stopped, depriving brain tissue of essential oxygen and nutrients. A stroke may cause loss in brain function and affect movement and speech.

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Stroke specialists in Ocala

At HCA Florida Ocala Hospital, our neurological specialists provide the rapid, lifesaving stroke treatment needed to reduce — or even prevent — loss of function.

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the U.S., and every second without treatment during a stroke increases the risk for brain damage, disability or death. Our hospital features dedicated neuroscience intensive care units, advanced technologies and 24/7 access to minimally invasive stroke procedures.

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Stroke is a medical emergency

If you believe someone is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

If you believe someone is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Our stroke care program

Our hospital is staffed by a skilled care team — 24/7 — dedicated to treating strokes.

Emergency stroke treatment

Our skilled stroke care begins with communication and coordination with emergency medical services (EMS) team before the ambulance arrives to one of our five emergency room locations.

Once you arrive, our rapid response stroke specialists will evaluate and treat you using extensive, standardized guidelines.

The evaluation may include various diagnostic imaging services, including a computerized tomography scan of the head, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain or biplane angiography, which produces 3D images of the brain.

Our team quickly analyzes the results and then provides any necessary treatment, including administering thrombolytic (clot-dissolving) medication. In complex cases, our specialists and surgeons perform interventional procedures to restore brain blood flow.

Nationally recognized stroke care

Our hospital has been designated a Comprehensive Stroke Center by both the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (FAHCA) and by DNV GL Healthcare, a leading accreditation organization for U.S. hospitals.

As the first and only Comprehensive Stroke Center in Marion County, we provide more advanced stroke treatments than the primary stroke centers located in Marion, Lake and Sumter counties. This means that even in complex stroke cases, such as large brain clots and hemorrhages, patients in our region can now receive immediate stroke care closer to home.

The DNV GL Healthcare Comprehensive Stroke Center certification is based on standards set forth by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association. This distinction is given to facilities which offer a full spectrum of stroke care — diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education.

The Joint Commission designated us a Primary Stroke Center for our dedication to stringent, proven guidelines leading to improved outcomes and higher quality of life for patients experiencing a stroke.

Stroke rehabilitation

Our licensed therapists provide neurological rehabilitation techniques to help you regain your strength and abilities following a stroke. Stroke rehabilitation improves long-term outcomes and decreases stroke-related complications.

Understanding strokes

A stroke is a serious medical condition that requires immediate emergency care, which is why being knowledgeable about strokes can help save a life.

Types of strokes

A stroke is caused by interrupted blood flow to part of the brain. When blood flow is stopped, that part of the brain can’t receive oxygen and other nutrients. This causes brain cells to die and can result in permanent damage, even death.

There are different types of strokes, including:

  • Hemorrhagic stroke: when a blood vessel ruptures and blood leaks into the brain
  • Ischemic stroke: when a blood clot blocks blood flow to part of the brain
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or "mini stroke": when there is temporary interruption of blood flow to part of the brain

Stroke symptoms

It’s important to be able to recognize signs of a stroke so you can act quickly when they occur. Common stroke symptoms include sudden:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Severe headache with no known cause (may be accompanied by pain in the face or stiffness in the neck)
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes (such as blurred, blackened or double vision)
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble walking

The symptoms of a TIA are the same as those of a stroke, but they usually last only a few minutes. If you think you are experiencing a stroke, don't drive. Call 911.


Stroke risk factors

There are certain factors and conditions that may put you at risk for a stroke. However, some of those conditions can often be treated. Some of the major risk factors for strokes include:

  • Being 55 years old and older
  • Having a family history of stroke
  • Having atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Having diabetes
  • Having heart disease
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Having poor circulation

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