Stroke does not discriminate. When it occurs, every second counts. We offer leading stroke care in Kansas City. Our highly experienced team applies the latest treatments to stop strokes fast, saving lives and preserving brain function.
Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center
We were the fourth facility in the nation to receive Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center designation. This reflects our commitment to the highest standards of care and ensures you receive the latest innovations and most effective treatments to overcome stroke.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the second worldwide. It is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., affecting 4 out of 5 families. More than 55,000 strokes occur annually in the state of Kansas alone.
There are several types of strokes:
- In an ischemic stroke, a blood clot stops blood flow to the brain.
- A transient ischemic stroke is a ministroke in which the blood clot is only temporary and symptoms disappear within an hour.
- A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain ruptures, ending blood flow to the brain.
When a stroke begins, brain cells die at the astounding rate of 1.9 million per minute.
There are a number of factors that can help predict your risk for stroke. Some you can modify and manage.
Modifiable risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Irregular heart rate
- Alcohol abuse
Nonmodifiable risk factors include:
- Age (65 and older)
- Sex (Women are at higher risk than men.)
- Race (African Americans and Hispanics are at higher risk than Caucasians and Asians.)
- Heredity (family history of stroke)
You may recognize a stroke by signs and symptoms including:
- Paralysis or sudden numbness, weakness or loss of movement in the face, arms or legs, especially if on just one side of the body (though it can occur on both)
- Vision issues, such as sudden onset of complete or partial blindness or double vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking, including the slurring of words, or difficulty understanding
- Sudden issues with balance or difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of stability or coordination
- Sudden head pain with unknown cause
If you suspect that you or someone near you is experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately.
Our stroke team is among the best qualified and best equipped in the nation to care for people experiencing strokes. Our team is the region's largest, and our technology and contribution to research efforts ensure we provide the latest diagnostic and treatment options.
We take an interdisciplinary approach to stroke care. It is critical to address the physical, cognitive and emotional effects of stroke on people and their families. Our care team includes:
- Stroke neurologists board-certified in vascular neurology and available 24/7 to lead immediate treatment efforts
- Advanced practice nurses, who assist with stroke evaluation and care
- Physical therapists, who help stroke survivors exercise to build strength and regain motor skills
- Speech therapists, who address speech challenges that may occur after stroke
- Occupational therapists, who help to recover or improve the ability to perform daily functions
Superior stroke care requires the right providers using the latest treatments and technologies. As an academic medical center, we are at the forefront of medical and technological advances in stroke care. These include:
- IV tissue plasminogen activator. Commonly called a "clot buster," this medication has long been the industry-standard approach to dissolving blood clots within hours of the stroke's occurrence.
- Stent retrievers. These innovative catheters are inserted into an artery in the groin and guided to the brain, where they grasp the clot for retrieval and removal.
- Quantitative postprocessing software (RAPID). This program reviews brain scans and helps identify people most likely to benefit from embolectomy, the removal of a clot blocking circulation. This assists the care team in making the best clinical decisions in working to preserve brain tissue.
Do you know your numbers?
A destination for stroke care
Our stroke team is dedicated to taking care of acute stroke cases referred from anywhere in the region. It is not unusual for a helicopter and ambulance to arrive at the same time, each bringing a stroke patient who needs immediate care to our ER. In Cambridge Tower A, two biplane rooms, out of three total, enable us to care for at least two stroke patients simultaneously, whether they need stenting, clot retrieval or aneurysm coiling.
Leading skills and technologies help us achieve outcomes second to none.
Advancing stroke care standards
The results of a recent clinical trial underscore our team's leadership in stroke care. We were among just 26 contributing sites for the DAWN trial. It yielded results poised to change the standard of stroke care forever. Findings indicated new opportunities to extend the critical window for intervention up to 24 hours after symptom onset for appropriate patients.
Ranked among the nation’s best
Our program ranked among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2020-21. Rankings are based on measurable achievements in quality, safety, nursing excellence and more. We are proud to provide you and your loved ones with nationally recognized neurology and neurosurgery care.
Why choose us
- We have the largest stroke team in the region. Our staff are all specialty-trained to care for patients with the most complex strokes. They are fellowship-trained, board-eligible or fellowship-trained, board-certified neurologists.
- We provide 24/7 coverage by fellowship-trained stroke subspecialists, including vascular neurosurgeons, neurointerventionalists, stroke neurologists, neurointensivists – who staff our dedicated, 28-bed neuro ICU – and neuroradiologists. This means the most experienced, most focused physicians are ready to support stroke care every moment of every day.
- Cambridge Tower A, our newest facility, houses the latest technologies required to quickly and effectively stop strokes and save lives. We can provide interventional stroke care in 11 surgical operating suites and benefit from neuro and cardiac imaging via CT, MRI, angiography and more.
- We have earned several of the field's most esteemed honors. We are certified by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center. There is no higher distinction and no deeper commitment. We have also received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines honors for stroke care continuously since the program began. What these awards mean to you is that there is no more experienced and no more dedicated available team than ours prepared to stop stroke and help achieve the best possible recovery.
- Our leading care providers are also leading researchers. We are dedicated not only to caring for stroke survivors today, but to driving research we hope will lead to more and better treatment options. The nation's top consortiums invite our organization to participate in clinical trials. It means more treatment options for more stroke survivors.
Leading research and clinical trials
As part of one of the nation's premier academic medical centers, our care providers are committed to research and scientific discovery through the University of Kansas Medical Center. We can often include our patients in potentially lifesaving clinical trials and treatment options not available anywhere else.