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Home > SPHS Programs & Services > Mercy Medical Center > Stroke Treatment and Recovery

Stroke Treatment and Recovery

Advanced Care When Seconds Count
Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. If you or a loved one experience stroke symptoms, Mercy Medical Center is your source for advanced, comprehensive care.

A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain (ischemic) or a blood vessel supplying the brain bursts (hermorrhagic). Sometimes referred to as a “brain attack,” a stroke deprives the brain of much-needed oxygen in a fashion similar to the way a heart attack affects cardiac muscles. Every second a stroke continues, more brain cells are lost, and the risk of death or permanent disability increases.

Not every hospital has the ability to intervene promptly and effectively when a patient who is having a stroke arrives. As a result, surviving this condition with minimal disability depends upon acknowledging the symptoms quickly and immediately seeking treatment at a facility recognized for stroke treatment. Mercy Medical Center is a designated Primary Stroke Center, meaning it has in place a specialized care team and set of protocols to help facilitate the rapid triage, thorough diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and effective rehabilitation of stroke patients.

As a designated Primary Stroke Center, Mercy Medical Center can offer comprehensive stroke care every step of the way, from streamlined patient assessment in the emergency department to expert inpatient management and rehabilitation through Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital.

Mercy ER - Primary Stroke Center
Expert, Streamlined Care
When patients experiencing ischemic stroke arrive in Mercy’s emergency department, the medical staff can administer tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), an interventional treatment shown to improve overall outcomes when administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms. The medication breaks up the blood clot blocking oxygen to the brain.

Mercy can quickly evaluate and screen patients through a welldeveloped stroke protocol prior to delivering treatment. If patients are within the three-hour window and meet other treatment criteria, Mercy can then administer tPA.

Neurodiagnostic screenings a patient may undergo at Mercy, before receiving tPA, to find the cause of the stroke, or areas of the brain affected, include:

  • Angiography
  • Computed Tomography Scan
  • Electroencephalography
  • Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (using one of the area’s most advanced systems)

The brain is very sensitive to lack of oxygen, so time is a critical factor. If additional care is needed, Mercy has a very advanced and intensive inpatient program to ensure patients receive the best care possible. Dedicated nursing staff, therapists, and nutritionists care for patients in a leading-edge Intensive Care Unit and the Intermediate Care and Neurology Units.

Emergency Department features include:

  • Emergency physicians—all Mercy emergency physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine
  • Registered nurses—experienced and caring
  • Neurology/Neurosurgical—services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Advanced diagnostics testing—including MRI, MRA, CAT scan, and Ultrasound
  • Laboratory and pathology services—provided on-site

A Stroke Coordinator manages the program and meets regularly with our Stroke Committee Team to review and continuouslyimprove the program to provide the best care to our patients.

Mercy Medical Center - Stroke Care Program
State-of-the-art Stroke Care
Mercy Medical Center is a full-service acute health care facility located in Springfield, MA. We are well-known for our tradition of providing patients with a high-touch, holistic approach to health care -- along with having the very latest in medical technology. As a regional medical center, Mercy offers state-of-the-art acute, telemetry (intermediate) and intensive care units for stroke patients. If you are admitted here, you will quickly recognize the importance of several Mercy Medical Center capabilities.

Features include:

  • Modern, state-of-the-art Intensive Care and Intermediate Care Units with large, beautiful private rooms equiped with private bathroom, shower, and the latest high-tech equipment
  • Around the clock Neurology/Neurosurgical coverage
  • On-site Lab and Diagnostic Testing
  • Mercy Inpatient Medicine Services—On-site 24 hour care provided by board-certified specialists for patients who are admitted to the hospital
  • Critical Care Specialists — Board-certified intensivists and experienced nurses providing care to intensive and critical care patients
  • Caring, experienced Registered Nursing staff
  • Extensive therapy program including—licensed physical therapists and assistants; licensed/registered occupational therapists; assistants; licensed/registered speech and language pathologists
  • Case managers and licensed social workers to assist with discharge needs

Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital - Stroke Recovery Program
Restoring Function, Restoring Lives
Stroke patients may require further therapy and rehabilitation care, depending on the severity of the stroke. Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital has a highly qualified staff ready to help patients get back to living their lives to the fullest and resuming their daily activities.

We are the only rehabilitation center in Western Massachusetts with certification from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The rigorous certification process is voluntary, so this achievement attests to the dedication of the nurses who completed additional educational courses and specialized training to enhance their ability to put patients’ lives back together.

Stroke services include inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as an outpatient driver advisement program. Advanced nursing care from experts in stroke rehabilitation is the hallmark of care for all patients in both inpatient and outpatient programs.

Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital is located on Mercy Medical Center’s Campus in Springfield, MA. Weldon is a multidisciplinary, fully-accredited facility dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with many different debilitating injuries, illnesses and medical conditions. Our rehabilitation team of doctors, therapists and certified rehabilitation nurses is available to provide the medical rehabilitative care necessary to achieve the optimal level of physical, psychological, social and vocational functioning for each patient.

Benefits include:

  • An acute rehabilitation hospital providing intensive inpatient and outpatient programs
  • Easy access to Mercy Medical Center
  • Patient and family involvement in every phase
  • One-on-one education, training, and home evaluation
  • Customized care to suit individual needs
  • Comprehensive discharge planning customized to meet the needs of the patient

Weldon’s staff

  • Weldon has 24 hour coverage by physiatrists (physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation) and 24 hour coverage by hospitalists from Mercy Internal Medicine Service (MIMS)
  • Certified rehabilitation registered/licensed nurses
  • Licensed physical therapists and assistants
  • Licensed/registered occupational therapists and assistants
  • Licensed/registered speech and language pathologists
  • Case managers
  • Licensed social workers
  • Activities director

Weldon’s support groups

  • Aphasia support group
  • Stroke support group

Weldon’s stroke specialty program accreditation
Weldon is the only acute rehabilitation facility in Western Massachusetts to have accreditation for comprehensive integrated inpatient rehabilitation program and stroke specialty certification.

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Accreditation - Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital has passed an indepth review and meets rigorous CARF guidelines for service and quality. Weldon is the only area hospital accredited by CARF for its comprehensive integrated rehabilitation program (adults and pediatrics) for coordinated and integrated medical and rehabilitation services provided 24-hours a day.

Approximately 80 percent of strokes are preventable, according to the National Stroke Association. Do your part to lower your stroke risk by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and consulting your physician about your risk factors.

For more information about stroke or rehabilitation services at Mercy Medical Center or Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital, call 413-748-9000.

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