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The Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Colorado, continues the tradition of excellence outlined in our Mission Statement.

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Stroke


Image of Stroke Team receiving Gold Award

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. This is a true emergency that demands evaluation and treatment to occur within a crucial time period. Stroke requires a coordinated and practiced, multi-disciplinary team approach. An umbrella organization such as a stroke center can coordinate this effort.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when a blood vessel to the brain is either blocked (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). This prevents oxygen from reaching the brain and damage can begin within minutes. The parts of the body controlled by that part of the brain will not work properly. That is why it is important to know the signs of stroke and act fast. Minutes matter when the very first stroke symptoms appear. Call 911 immediately!

Stroke Symptoms

    • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs - especially on one side of the body
    • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
    • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
    • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
       

Image of heartbeat on EKGNeurosurgery's Dr. Kerry Brega, is proud to be the Co-Medical Director for the Stroke Service at University of Colorado Hospital along with Dr. Williams Jones, stroke neurologist. The UCH Stroke Center also has the distinctive competence of operating from a neuro-intensive care paradigm applied in an emergency setting. This entails a stroke team activated by the Neuro-ICU and coordinated with the emergency department staff. It offers 24/7 availability of a physician solely assigned to the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit who is familiar and comfortable with dynamic intervention. Our comprehensive Stroke Center establishes an integrated delivery system with a full continuum of care from patient arrival in the Emergency Department through the Rehabilitation program.

Stroke Statistics
The statistics for stroke are startling:

  • Stroke is the 3rd leading cause death in the U.S.
  • It is the #1 cause of permanent disability – 3 million Americans cannot work because of stroke
    731,000 strokes occur annually
  • The ideal treatment window for most strokes is within 3 hours
  • Only 3 – 5% of patients make it to the hospital in time for treatment
  • Most people don’t know the signs of stroke
  • A recent survey showed that people fear having a stroke more than dying because of the disability they may be left with

Read about CU Neurosurgery's stroke research


Stroke Frequently Asked Questions