Comprehensive stroke treatment in Virginia

At HCA Virginia’s hospitals, our emergency care specialists deliver the fast response and effective treatment you need during a stroke. Designed with your treatment and well-being in mind, our specialized neuroscience intensive care units (neuro ICUs) with transitional step-down facilities set the standard for quality stroke care.

Additionally, Johnston-Willis Hospital was the first non-academic community hospital and the second in Virginia to achieve the Comprehensive Stroke Certification by DNV-GL Healthcare. This designation reflects the commitment of HCA Virginia neurology programs to comprehensive, evidence-based care.

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

What causes a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. This causes brain cells to be deprived of oxygen, and they begin to die as a result. A stroke can result in permanent loss of speech, movement and memory.

Take our free stroke risk assessment

What are the types of stroke?

There are two main types of stroke: hemorrhagic and ischemic.

Hemorrhagic stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke is either a brain aneurysm burst or a weakened blood vessel leak. When this occurs, blood spills into or around the brain and creates swelling and pressure, damaging cells and tissue in the brain, which can cause life-altering damage and even death.

The two main types of hemorrhagic stroke are:

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Ischemic stroke

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot, causing blood not to reach parts of the brain.

The two main types of ischemic stroke are:

  • Embolic stroke
  • Thrombotic stroke
    • Large vessel thrombosis
    • Small vessel disease

What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke?

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can help save lives.

If any of the below symptoms appear suddenly, call 911 and seek emergency care:

  • Confusion, trouble speaking or trouble understanding
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking or loss of balance or coordination

Our specialized stroke treatments and services

In addition to timely, life saving care upon entering an HCA Virginia emergency room, we also provide specialized programs to help patients who have experienced a stroke heal as quickly as possible.

"Code neuro"

When we're notified of a potential stroke patient, our HCA Virginia stroke care team calls a “code neuro”. That's our well-established and highly integrated process for the response to, diagnosis of and treatment for stroke. It links local first responders, outlying community hospitals and all HCA Virginia hospitals. With this system, our care for you begins before you even get to the hospital and improves care for you during your time with us.

Neuro ICU

After stroke treatment, we will transition you to a private, spacious room within our neuro ICU or our neuroscience step-down unit for recovery.

In these units, you’ll benefit from the latest inpatient monitoring technology, which means faster response, more effective care and a quieter environment for recovery.

Stroke rehabilitation

After your stroke, our rehabilitation team partners with you on the road to recovery. They will work with you one-on-one to regain function, skills and independence in affected areas of your body through neurological rehabilitation. Our specialists use customized rehabilitation therapies, including physical, occupational and speech/swallowing therapies, for your optimal recovery.

Telemedicine services for stroke

Telemedicine increases the quality and convenience of healthcare services. It can help provide patients with better, faster and more specialized care. It allows doctors to provide more convenient, real-time neurological assessments of patients and improve communications with other medical staff from almost any device, such as a computer, laptop or tablet.

Our expert doctors use on-site examinations and telemedicine capabilities to quickly access a neurologist. The patient can see and interact with the neurologist and view scans and reports of their tests, which can also be shared with a specialist. The neurologist can view head scans, prior reports and records in order to make an informed decision about care.

Rapid administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is critical for acute ischemic stroke. tPA is a clot-busting drug for blockages in the arteries in the brain. The sooner it is given, the more brain tissue is preserved. Telemedicine leads to faster administration of tPA, which can lead to improved outcomes in as little at six months. It is more convenient for the patient, as he or she can receive specialized care faster.

Other stroke resources

Helpful resources about stroke include: