Every stroke is different. Which is why our care is never routine. When a stroke hits, where you go for treatment matters. At Ohio State’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, our physicians, nurses and researchers are at the forefront of stroke care, developing and delivering the most advanced and innovative techniques. From first-in-the-nation clinical trials, to revolutionary rehabilitation strategies, our teams are dedicated to providing safe and effective stroke care.

Learn more about brain and spine neurological conditions at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

careteam

Continuum of Care

From the moment you enter our emergency department, you will be cared for by people specially trained in stroke care. We are the only center in central Ohio that utilizes dual-trained endovascular neurosurgeons for clot removal and treatment for aneurysms. Our stroke neurologists oversee your care from diagnosis through treatment, and we provide follow-up care with stroke rehabilitation at our outpatient stroke clinic.

Our multidisciplinary stroke team includes:

  • Board-certified vascular neurologists and vascular neurosurgeons
  • Certified stroke rehabilitation physicians
  • Nurse practitioners who specialize in stroke care
  • Neuro Intensive Care Unit nurses
  • Stroke rehabilitation therapists

Recognized for Excellence

We are skilled at treating the most complex strokes and cerebrovascular diseases. We are one of only nine Ohio hospitals that have achieved the elite status of Comprehensive Stroke Center from The Joint Commission, and are one of the first stroke centers across the United States to have received this recognition.

In 2019, we were recognized with The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus and Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus award. The award recognizes our commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Ways to Improve Stroke Recovery

We offer specialized stroke rehabilitation services to allow you to resume your life. Our Comprehensive Stroke Center is unique in Ohio for developing gaming as a strategy for stroke rehabilitation and recovery from paralysis.

Diagnosis

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to your brain stops. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. There are two kinds of stroke. The more common kind, called ischemic stroke, is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain. The other kind, called hemorrhagic stroke, is caused by a blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain. "Mini-strokes," or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), occur when the blood supply to the brain is briefly interrupted.

Stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you have any of these symptoms, you must get to a hospital quickly to begin treatment. Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot or by stopping the bleeding. Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities that result from stroke damage. Drug therapy with blood thinners is the most common treatment for stroke.

Source: NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Ohio State has a stroke team in-house around-the-clock to assess people for stroke the moment they arrive in the emergency department. A stroke alert is called by paramedics while the patient is being transported to our hospital, so we are ready to evaluate you and get an immediate computed tomography (CT) scan upon your arrival. This CT scan helps us see bleeding in the brain or damage to the brain cells from a stroke.

Other diagnostic tests we use to verify a stroke include:

  • CT angiography, which combines CT and a special dye to examine blood vessels and detect abnormalities in the brain
  • CT perfusion scan, which uses dye and a series of CT images to determine blood flow to a region of the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can detect changes in brain tissue and damage to brain cells from a stroke
  • MR perfusion scan, which can be performed with or without dye to provide a blood flow map of the brain
  • CT arteriogram (CTA) and magnetic resonance arteriogram (MRA), which show the large blood vessels in the brain and may give us more information about the site of a blood clot and the flow of blood through your brain
  • Cerebral angiography, a test that uses dye and special X-rays to show the insides of blood vessels in the neck and head

Treatment and Rehabilitation

Treating Stroke

Ohio State is the only medical center in central Ohio to provide immediate bedside care around the clock by a stroke neurologist for any patient suspected of having a stroke. This attention speeds the treatment process and provides the best possible opportunity to save brain tissue. And our entire stroke team, including stroke neurologists and neurosurgeons, imaging specialists and technicians, is available within moments.

We have physicians trained in both radiology and neurosurgery who work in a uniquely designed operating room equipped with X-ray capabilities. By viewing X-rays and providing surgical care in the same room, our physicians save time in moving you from doctor to doctor or room to room.

Stroke Rehabilitation

We are leaders in developing and administering the most current therapeutic options, including human/machine interfaces that drive the brain’s recovery and restructuring. We offer you a range of specialized support services unparalleled in central Ohio to help you maximize your ability to function safely and independently at home and to participate in your community.

Through the Stroke Rehabilitation Program, your rehabilitation plan at Ohio State may include:

  • Optimizing brain plasticity (using sensory input and cognitive therapies to stimulate the brain to change, adapt and reorganize itself)
  • Exercising to help improve strength, swallowing, communication and thinking
  • Enhancing skills needed to perform daily activities
  • Developing strategies to compensate for functional deficits
  • Adapting leisure activities for enhanced quality of life

Telestroke Network

Ohio State Telestroke Network

Ohio State is the hub for the Telestroke Network, which delivers Ohio State’s critical stroke expertise into 24 hospitals in rural areas of Ohio. If you were taken to one of those emergency departments with stroke symptoms, experts would be mobilized both there and at Ohio State through a “stroke alert.” Through video technology that directly links our stroke specialists to the community hospital, we interview you, view your test results and vital signs and prescribe intravenous clot-buster medications to be given to you within minutes. Then our doctors work together with your hospital to determine the next best step is for your treatment. Should you require an advanced level of care, a transfer to Ohio State’s Stroke Center is arranged. Ohio State’s stroke team physicians are available around the clock for this service.

The goals of the Telestroke Network are to:

  • Increase access to advanced stroke care in underserved regions of Ohio
  • Improve EMS response and recognition of stroke signs and symptoms
  • Enhance quality and efficiency within the healthcare system

Ohio State’s stroke team, which includes vascular neurologists, neurocritical care physicians and vascular neurosurgeons, is available any time, day or night.

ohiomap_telestrokeThe Ohio State Telestroke Network includes: 

  • Adena Greenfield Medical Center
  • Adena Regional Medical Center
  • Adena Pike Hospital
  • Avita Bucyrus Hospital
  • Avita Galion Hospital
  • Avita Ontario Hospital
  • Barnesville Hospital
  • Blanchard Valley Hospital
  • Bluffton Hospital
  • Coshocton Regional Medical Center
  • Fairfield Medical Center
  • Fayette County Memorial Hospital
  • Highland District Hospital
  • Holzer Gallipolis
  • Holzer Jackson
  • Knox Community Hospital
  • Madison Health
  • Mary Rutan Hospital
  • Memorial Hospital
  • Mercy Health - Urbana Hospital
  • Mercy Health - Springfield Regional Medical Center
  • Ohio State University Hospital East
  • Wooster Community Hospital Health System
  • Wyandot Memorial Hospital

Jim's stroke survival story

Jim Sayer was 100 miles away from Columbus when he had a stroke. Fortunately, his local hospital, Blanchard Valley Hospital, is part of the Ohio State Telestroke Network, which delivers Ohio State’s critical stroke expertise into more than 25 hospitals in Ohio.

Ohio State Telestroke Network

Experts from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Blanchard Valley Hospital, part of the Ohio State Telestroke Network, discuss how the community benefits from this partnership. 

Patient Stories

Coming back strong after a stroke

Coming back strong after a stroke

Getting her life back after stroke

Getting her life back after stroke


When stroke strikes, others’ observations matter

When stroke strikes, others’ observations matter

Research

Research

Ohio State’s stroke program is improving health care by developing the next breakthroughs in stroke prevention, diagnosis and care.

We are one of only 10 stroke centers in the country selected by the National Institutes of Health to be part of both its Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) network to improve emergency care for severe injuries and illnesses of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system, and its StrokeNet, an elite network of 25 regional stroke centers conducting clinical trials on stroke prevention, treatment and recovery.

In addition, we are a member of the NIH’s NeuroNEXT: Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials. This collaboration results in more promising treatments, more rapidly, to provide patients like you more hope for stroke prevention and treatment.


Enroll in a clinical trial


Our current studies include:

  • More +
Our Stroke Providers

Additional Information

When you are visiting our Stroke Clinic for the first time, please bring any medical records from previous hospitalizations, clinic visits or specialist consults. We also request that you bring a CD of imaging studies, including X-rays, MRIs or CTs of the brain.

Preparing for your visit

Support Groups

Central Ohio Aneurysm, AVM and Hemorrhagic Stroke Support Group

It is helpful to know you are not alone. This support group is intended for patients and/or loved ones who want to learn more about aspects of recovery, discuss feelings, learn coping skills and support others. Email marissa.dejesus@osumc.edu or call 614-293-8714 to be added to the mailing list for newsletters and upcoming meeting topics. 

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