The Rush Approach to Stroke Care
At Rush, every patient we treat for an emergency stroke or follow-up care after a stroke or TIA benefits from the thousands of patients we've seen before. That's because we analyze patient cases as a team to discover how we can continually improve stroke care.
In downtown Chicago, Rush is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. And, Rush has two certified Primary Stroke Centers in Oak Park and Aurora/Fox Valley. That means you and your loved ones are receiving the highest level of stroke care when you visit our hospitals. We also offer clinical trials that seek to expand current treatment windows and improve technologies used to treat stroke.
Our goals for your care are the following:
- Treat emergency strokes as quickly and effectively as possible to minimize damage to your body.
- Prevent another, future stroke by educating you and your family about health and lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your stroke risk.
- Provide you with the rehabilitation and other medical and support services you need to recover as fully as possible from your stroke or TIA.
Rush Excellence in Stroke Care
- Immediate, emergency care: Every second matters during a stroke. That's why Rush has extensive processes in place to make sure that our clinicians start preparing for a patient's arrival as soon as we learn someone with a stroke is on their way to our emergency departments.
- Surgical treatment during a stroke: Rush neurosurgeons have additional training in cerebrovascular neurosurgery to treat all types of stroke emergencies. During emergency stroke treatment they stop the bleeding in a stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel or remove the clot in a stroke caused by a blocked blood vessel.
- Nationally recognized stroke care: Rush University Medical Center, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital have been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association with the Get With the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award. In addition, Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital have received the Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award. These awards recognize that Rush hospitals provide timely and effective stroke care that is among the best in the country.
- Quality outcomes: As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, Rush University Medical Center is continually evaluating the quality of our program so we can improve the care we deliver. One way we measure quality is to look at our patients’ outcomes for carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting — two procedures used to remove blockages (cholesterol buildup, or atherosclerosis) in the carotid arteries. These blockages are a key risk factor for stroke. For both procedures, our patients’ complication rates are at or below the benchmarks set by the Joint Commission.
- Rush stroke expertise across the region: Through our Rush Telestroke Network, we share our stroke expertise with local hospitals throughout the region. This helps these physicians decide whether a patient is eligible for a clot-busting medication such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA or tenecteplase), or if they need to be transferred to Rush for more complex stroke care.
- Addressing short- and long-term effects from stroke: To address effects caused by a stroke, Rush offers a variety of rehabilitation services across the system. Rehab begins while you’re in the hospital, with physical, occupational and speech-language therapy. After you’re discharged, you may need continued rehab at an inpatient location. If your care team recommends outpatient rehab, Rush offers services in Chicago, Oak Park and Aurora. To reduce your risk for another future stroke, we help you make medical and lifestyle changes and connect you to other Rush specialists as needed.
- Support for survivors of stroke: Rush hosts online support groups for survivors of stroke and their caregivers. For information about the Rush University Medical Center group, email Stephanie Dahl or Gail Valadez. For information about the Rush Copley Medical Center group, call Molly Pretet at (630) 898-4637 and leave your name, phone number and email address.
- Expertise in stroke prevention: If you’ve had a stroke — or your primary care doctor has told you that you’re at risk of having one — the Rush Stroke Prevention Clinic can work with you to prevent future strokes. Our experts tailor a prevention plan just for you, including ways to manage your risk factors.