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Stroke

A stroke is a medical emergency where blood flow to the brain is either reduced or stopped, depriving brain tissue of essential oxygen and nutrients. A stroke may cause loss in brain function and affect movement and speech.

Stroke treatment in Kansas City

Time matters most when experiencing a stroke, and we are there for you to help manage and treat a stroke as quickly as possible.

At HCA Midwest Health, we provide fast, compassionate stroke care using the latest technologies and techniques. Our highly trained emergency room (ER) specialists and stroke experts work to avoid lasting symptoms, permanent disability and loss of life, always putting your long-term well-being first.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Types of stroke and symptoms

A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is interrupted or reduced. Brain cells begin to die due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients.

Stroke symptoms include:

  • Arm, leg or body weakness or numbness on one side
  • Face sagging on one side
  • Speaking problems, such as slurred speech
  • Sudden dimmed vision, especially in one eye
  • Sudden headache with no cause followed by loss of consciousness
  • Sudden loss of balance followed by vomiting, fever, hiccups or problems with swallowing

When someone experiences stroke symptoms, call 911 immediately. When first responders arrive, they will examine the patient while in remote contact with an emergency medicine specialist. Then, treatment will continue en route to the nearest stroke center.

Ischemic strokes

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. Blood vessels become blocked or narrowed, preventing blood flow (ischemia). This can happen because of fatty deposits, uncontrolled high blood pressure or blood clots.

Hemorrhagic strokes

Hemorrhagic strokes occur when there is a leakage or rupture in blood vessels. Factors contributing to this type of stroke include trauma, weakened blood vessels (aneurysms), ischemic strokes and uncontrolled blood pressure.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

These are "mini" strokes that may be forerunners to a major stroke. TIAs have similar symptoms and causes as other types of stroke but only last for a short time. However, a TIA should not be ignored, as it is a warning sign that a full-blown stroke is coming. Recognizing the symptoms and getting the proper treatment may prevent a major stroke.

TIA prevention

If you've had symptoms of a TIA but feel better, you still should see a doctor. You may need medication or further treatment. Treatment may also focus on prevention methods such as lifestyle changes to reduce your future risk of stroke. Controllable risk factors include diet, physical activity, smoking and drug abuse.

Certain medical conditions can increase your risk of stroke. Management or prevention of these conditions can significantly reduce your risk:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Heart disease
  • Atherosclerosis and artery disease
  • High cholesterol levels (specifically high-LDL)
  • Low bone mineral density (especially in women)
  • Obesity and metabolic syndrome

Stroke centers

At HCA Midwest Health, treatment begins with our well-equipped stroke centers. Once patients reach our emergency rooms (ERs), our experts coordinate care across our medical specialties as fast as possible.

We provide prompt, complete stroke care at our:

  • Comprehensive Stroke Center, located at Research Medical Center (RMC), which handles the highest and most complex stroke symptoms
  • Primary Stroke Centers, located at four of our network hospitals, which handle the next highest level of complex stroke symptoms
  • Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) Centers, located at our five Missouri hospitals, which have a specially trained medical team available 24/7 who initiate stroke and trauma care

Our comprehensive and primary stroke centers meet standards set by The Joint Commission. Also, our network's Missouri hospitals meet state guidelines for stroke centers. Both sets of standards require quick and effective stroke diagnosis and treatment.

Facility Emergency room Stroke center Missouri TCD stroke level
Research Medical Center Emergency room available Comprehensive Level I
Centerpoint Medical Center Emergency room available Primary Level II
Overland Park Regional Medical Center Emergency room available Primary N/A
Belton Regional Medical Center Emergency room available Level III Level III
Lee's Summit Medical Center Emergency room available Primary Level II
Menorah Medical Center Emergency room available Primary N/A
Lafayette Regional Health Center Emergency room available Level III
ER of Brookside Emergency room available
ER of Olathe Emergency room available
ER of Shawnee Emergency room available

Telestroke services

Through our telestroke services, stroke specialists use advanced videoconferencing technology to talk with patients and their doctors and provide virtual consultations regarding diagnosis and treatment. Telestroke service lets patients stay at home and transfer to advanced care when needed.

Stroke rehab and recovery

After a stroke, it is possible for patients to experience a variety of challenges, including:

  • Physical weakness and fatigue
  • Vision trouble
  • Muscle stiffness, lack of control or partial loss of sensation
  • Trouble walking or maintaining balance
  • Shoulder pain
  • Bladder control problems
  • Seizures or paralysis
  • Trouble with speech, language, reading or writing
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Confusion or problems thinking clearly
  • Anxiety and fearfulness
  • Anger
  • Depression

The stroke therapy program at HCA Midwest offers specialized medical care to help stroke patients achieve the best possible results. Our stroke specialists work with survivors, their doctors and families to help them find their way back to normalcy.

Our multidisciplinary team of caregivers partners with patients to ensure they have the right education and resources needed to be successful after leaving the hospital. Treatment may involve intensive care and physical and occupational therapy.

Comprehensive inpatient rehab

Comprehensive inpatient rehab covers the first three to four months after the initial stroke. Patients receive almost twice as many hours per week of therapy than is normally provided at a skilled nursing facility. This extra time can help maximize recovery.

Outpatient stroke rehab

Outpatient stroke rehab typically follows an inpatient stay. Patients often require outpatient therapy to continue their progress. To ease post-stroke travel, all of our network hospitals offer outpatient services.

BE FAST for Symptoms of Stroke

Informational and educational video describing BE FAST to recognize the signs of a stroke.

Our Stroke Locations

Centerpoint Medical Center
19600 E 39th St S
Independence, MO 64057
 (816) 698 - 7000
Lee's Summit Medical Center
2100 SE Blue Pkwy
Lees Summit, MO 64063
 (816) 282 - 5000