Stroke Center 

The Acute Stroke and Neurointensive Care Program

About The Acute Stroke Center

The Acute Stroke Center makes advanced expertise and technology available to people who are at-risk for stroke or who have had a stroke. Located at Hahnemann University Hospital, the center is designed to meet the needs of stroke patients:

  • those who require urgent diagnosis and treatment while a stroke is in progress;
  • those who need a comprehensive evaluation to reduce their risk of recurrent stroke; and
  • those who may benefit most from a planned program of rehabilitation and home care to promote their independence.

Stroke Patients Need Specialized Care

Until recently, little could be done to treat stroke. Instead of treatment, physicians focused their efforts on the underlying problems that could lead to another stroke. But today, new drugs and sophisticated procedures have resulted in an improved prognosis for many stroke patients. In addition, a planned program of rehabilitation and specially targeted home care services can improve the quality of life for recovering stroke patients.

The Acute Stroke Center at Hahnemann University Hospital brings many of these specialized techniques and services to patients that may need help to avoid death or the severe disability that has long been associated with stroke.

Who Can Benefit?

The Acute Stroke Center has physicians and services that help patients at many levels of need. For patients in the acute phase, treatment with the potential to reverse the debilitating effects of stroke may be administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Inability to speak or to understand speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Paralysis of any part of the body

The center also offers advanced interventional neuroradiologic treatments. These procedures have the potential to prevent a future stroke or arrest one in progress. After discharge, our home care department can support patients in the community.

Advanced Treatment Options

Based upon the precise cause and location of the stroke, center physicians select appropriate treatment to help limit damage. These therapies may include:

Administration of clot-dissolving agents (thrombolysis) if the stroke is due to acute thrombosis of an intracranial vessel.

Use of interventional procedures:

Embolization procedures: If the stroke is due to intracranial bleeding secondary to arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) or aneurysms (weak, balloon-like defects in the blood vessel walls), tiny coils or sponges can be laced, isolating the defective area from circulation. During a minimally invasive procedure similar to coronary angioplasty, these devices are introduced into the body through a catheter inserted into the femoral artery in the leg. Embolization procedures are particularly useful when the location of the AVM or aneurysm is deemed inoperable or when the patient is unable to tolerate conventional surgery.

Stents and angioplasty: If the stroke is caused by a narrowed blood vessel, stents can be placed to keep the vessel open. Another option is angioplasty, which can be performed to widen the vessel.


A planned program of rehabilitation may begin immediately following the acute phase of care. The goal of rehabilitation is to help patients to regain strength, relearn activities of daily living and function as independently as possible.

Home Care:

Arrangements can be made for an interdisciplinary home care team, consisting of an attending physician, registered nurse, home health aide and physical, speech and/or occupational therapist, supports patients in the home environment. They provide education on new medications, the use of assistive devices and assistance with activities of daily living.


About the Neurointensive Care Program

In addition to acute stroke, Hahnemann provides treatment for patients with neurological illnesses that require ICU care. Specific neurological illnesses appropriate for this special clinical setting include:

  • intracerebral hemorrhage
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • head trauma
  • increased intracranial pressure due to stroke or mass lesion
  • status epilepticus
  • mysathenic crisis
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome

Our team of fellowship-trained neurointensivists offers these patients care specifically designed for their neurological disease as well as the resources of a tertiary care center.

To Refer a Patient

The Acute Stroke Center physicians are available via telephone 24-hours a day to consult with physicians throughout the Delaware Valley. With one simple phone call, you can be certain that your patient will have access to a high level of diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation care.

The Acute Stroke and Neurointensive Care Program

For an appointment, call 215.762.1267.

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Hahnemann University Hospital | 230 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102