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According to the American Stroke Association, “in leading causes of U.S. death, stroke used to rank fourth. Now it’s fifth. The higher survival rates are largely due to medical treatment advances. The right care — done the right way — can save both lives and quality of life.” One of the ways to save lives and quality of life is through a reduction in the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with thrombolytic medication. A short “door-to-needle” time is imperative to preserve brain function after a stroke.

Patients who meet criteria and are known to be less than three hours from onset of symptoms are eligible to receive this medication. Through its network of WVU Medicine hospitals and 31 telestroke sites serving West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio, neurologists and neuroradiologists at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute work with remote providers to get patients suspected of having a stroke the immediate care they need, either through their local hospital or at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

The stroke care programs at WVU Medicine Uniontown Hospital and J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital are both recognized as high performing by U.S. News & World Report, and Uniontown Hospital’s award-winning stroke team is ready to handle emergency care for patients suffering stroke or experiencing stroke symptoms, working to ensure rapid and appropriate care through their program and partnership with WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute providers.

When a stroke-causing clot must be removed through surgery, the WVU Stroke Center’s advanced surgical therapies allow stroke sufferers in Southwestern Pennsylvania to receive top-tier care very quickly and close to home. The WVU Stroke Center, awarded The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers, is the only center in West Virginia to receive this designation.

“We are the only comprehensive stroke center in the state, and we provide the most complex care to stroke patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long,” Muhammad “Mud” Alvi, M.D., medical director of the WVU Stroke Center and neurologist at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, said. “Our center treats multiple stroke patients transferred from throughout our region every day.”

Some large vessel occlusion ischemic strokes may be treated with endovascular clot-retrieval by interventional neuroradiology specialists. J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital has provided this treatment for 20 years, along with around-theclock neurosurgical coverage for any stroke requiring surgical intervention.

“I am proud of our neurointerventional team of technologists, nurses, and physicians, who provide round-theclock advanced endovascular stroke therapy,” Ansaar Rai, M.D., chair of the WVU Department of Neuroradiology, said. “Being part of the stroke team is truly a privilege.”

When it comes to stroke, the most important thing to remember is that time equals brain, which is why it is imperative to BE FAST:

Balance – Dizziness or loss of balance

Eyes – Vision changes

Face – One side of the face drooping

Arm – One arm or leg weak or numb

Speech – Trouble understanding or speaking, confusion, or slurred speech

Time – Time to call 911

Learn more about the WVU Stroke Center at

Sponsored content brought to you by WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.