A stroke doctor consults with patients.

Stroke Program

2069.2 miles away
509-474-3131
24 hours a day; 7 days a week

Stroke Program

24 hours a day; 7 days a week

Every stroke is a medical emergency, even if symptoms go away quickly. If you know the warning signs and call 911 right away, you can help save lives and prevent or limit brain damage.

The nationally-recognized stroke team at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center provides rapid, high-level diagnosis and care at any hour. As a Joint Commission Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center, we’re certified by national leaders for meeting advanced standards of stroke care and the only hospital in Eastern Washington that provides around-the-clock thrombectomy stroke care. The center is part of the Providence Spokane Neuroscience Institute, a comprehensive, integrated neuroscience program that treats conditions of the brain and spine.

Our neurosurgeons and other specialists apply the latest expertise, technology and teamwork. Stroke can cause troubling symptoms, but with brain-savvy specialists on your side, you’re in good and capable hands.

Just call for help, and you’re assured of fast and thorough treatment, including intensive care and neurorehabilitation, if needed.

Nationally recognized

Sacred Heart has been recognized for its stroke care programs since 2003. In 2019, Sacred Heart became a Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center, which offers around-the-clock advanced treatment and care.

For the thirteenth consecutive year, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital was honored with American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center also received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus Honor Roll award and, a new award added this year, they also received the Get With The Guidelines® Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.

Conditions we treat

We treat these and other neurological conditions:

  • Aneurysm
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Cerebral blood vessel abnormalities
  • Cerebral vasospasm
  • Hemorrhagic stroke
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack
Treatments and services

At Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, our specialists provide complete care, from diagnosis through stroke rehabilitation. We routinely achieve exceptional stroke outcomes as noted in publicly reported data and https://qualitynearme.heart.org/GWTGPublicReporting.

We also reach out throughout the year to educate communities about what to know and do when every minute matters.

Our stroke services include:

Emergency care

The emergency care leaders at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center work with community EMS and the Life Flight air ambulance team to provide rapid transport, emergency assessment and intervention. Providence also works with other regional EMS teams, including Air Lift Northwest.

When strokes happen, every minute counts. Tissues in your body require a steady supply of oxygen from your blood. If blood supply is blocked, it’s critical to get prompt treatment to avoid serious brain injury.

Call 911 right away if you see symptoms of stroke. For the best outcome, treatment must begin:

  • Within 4 ½ hours or sooner of when stroke symptoms started for IV clot-busting therapy to be effective. The most optimal outcomes are achieved within 90 minutes from symptom onset.
  • Within 24 hours or sooner of when stroke symptoms started for intra-vascular therapy (within arteries) to be effective. The most optimal outcomes are achieved within 6 hours from symptom onset.

Emergency medical therapies include:

  • Thrombolytic therapy. You may receive Tenecteplase (TNK) clot-busting medication for a stroke caused by a blocked artery in your brain. Specialists give the drug intravenously during the first 4 ½ hours after the stroke to dissolve the clot and restore blood flow, which significantly improves your chance of recovery.
  • Mechanical endovascular therapy. Endovascular physicians can remove clots in certain arteries up to 24 hours from a stroke onset with special stent retrieval catheters.
Diagnostic imaging

Doctors do tests to determine the type of stroke you’ve had before they begin more specific treatment. Providence doctors assess your stroke risk or identify the type and impact of a stroke using these and other technologies:

  • CT scans, including non-contrast CT, CT angiography, and CT perfusion
  • Transthoracic echocardiogram and Trans-esophageal echocardiogram
  • MRI and Magnetic resonance angiography
  • Cerebral angiography
  • Carotid artery duplex
  • Transcranial Doppler
Laboratory

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s lab is known for their state-of-the-art technology and clinical expertise. We provide fast turnaround for stroke testing, including these and other services:

  • Stat hematology and coagulation tests required to assess and treat acute stroke
  • Laboratory tests for genetic stroke factors
  • Lipid evaluation, which identifies stroke-related lipid disorders
Neurology services

Neurologists are an integral part of the stroke team, working with your emergency department and hospitalist physicians to guide care, from emergency services through hospitalization. Neurological services include initial diagnosis, stroke work-up, and stroke management plan. 

Interventional neuroradiology

Interventional neuroradiologists work closely with neurologists and neurosurgeons who specialize in stroke. If you have a stroke, our doctors evaluate and treat you using sophisticated minimally invasive, image-guided therapies, including:

  • Mechanical thrombectomy with stent retrieval devices
  • Intra-arterial thrombolysis (catheter-delivered clot-dissolving medication)
  • Endovascular angioplasty (expands narrowed vessels)
  • Endovascular stenting (device holds opens narrow or blocked vessels)
  • GDC coils (closes off aneurysms)
  • Intraoperative angiography (real-time feedback while treating an aneurysm or AVM)

Medical therapies

General medical treatment varies according to the cause of the stroke and the amount of time that has passed since your symptoms began and your overall health and condition.

Your stroke team will address these and other important health issues:

  • Aspiration prevention
  • Blood pressure control
  • Deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in the legs) prevention
  • Fluid administration
  • Glucose (blood sugar) control
  • Hyperthermia (fever control)
  • Nutrition maintenance
  • Medications to prevent further stroke
  • Evaluation of the heart and it’s rhythm
Surgical services

Providence cerebrovascular neurosurgeons use innovative surgical techniques to treat stroke, including:

  • Aneurysm clipping and reconstruction
  • Brain mapping to protect speech and other functions during AVM treatment
  • Cerebral revascularization to restore and re-route blood flow during aneurysm treatment
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery to non-invasively treat AVMs
  • Carotid artery surgery to treat arteries narrowed by plaque
Stroke rehabilitation

Our stroke rehabilitation specialists understand how challenging the recovery process can be. We guide you, encourage you and offer opportunities for you and your loved ones to work together throughout rehabilitation.

At the Providence Neuroscience Center, specialists offer intensive therapy designed just for you. Your therapy team includes speech pathologists, dietitians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, case managers and physiatrists.

We coordinate outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation with Providence St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Medical Center or with local therapists in your home community.

Once you return home, rehabilitation therapies continue through home health services and/or outpatient therapy programs.

We know that the faster you’re diagnosed and treated, the better outcomes you can have. That’s why we’ve joined with local care providers to bring Providence world-class stroke care to rural communities when time matters most.

Through a partnership with rural hospitals, Providence provides around-the-clock access to acute stroke experts on a secure Internet connection. Using a mobile two-way communication system, our skilled stroke neurologists are available to help evaluate and consult on diagnosis, treatment or transfer to a different location if needed.

Your local care team has immediate access to the latest advancements in stroke care. Our Telestroke services include:

  • 24-hour access to fellowship-trained stroke neurologists
  • Expert service for initial stroke evaluation
  • A full-time dedicated team led by an experienced Telestroke neurologist and nurse coordinator
  • Partnership to develop your local stroke care services
  • Support and tools to enhance quality and stroke patient outcomes

Our specialists work with your doctor to find the best routes of care for you and your family. We strive to keep treatments, rehabilitation and other care within your local community. 

Contact us

Providence Spokane Neuroscience Center
101 W 8th Ave
Spokane, WA 99204
509-474-4567

Acute stroke or transfer line: 877-323-5055

The following information and resources could save your life or the life of someone close to you.

Understanding stroke

A stroke stops blood supply to part of your brain. If the interruption lasts less than a few minutes, it’s called a transient ischemic attack, or TIA.

If you have a TIA, you have a 2%-17% chance of having a stroke within 90 days. One in five people with TIA will have a stroke, heart attack, or will die within a year. It’s very important to get medical help right away.

There are two types of stroke:

  1. Ischemic stroke: clotting within a blood vessel (over 80% of strokes)
  2. Hemorrhagic stroke: brain bleeding

To prevent or limit the damage of stroke, call 911 if you see symptoms of stroke.

Symptoms of stroke start suddenly and include:

  • Confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding others
  • Severe headache
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Weakness or numbness in your face, arm or leg, often on just one side
  • Dizziness along with trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination

To learn more about stroke, visit the American Stroke Association’s website.

Preventing stroke

Regular checkups, exercise, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle – including knowing and managing risk factors – can help prevent a stroke. 

Risk factors for stroke include:

  • High blood pressure (systolic > 130, diastolic blood pressure > 90)
  • Age; stroke risk rises after age 65
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of stroke
  • Gender; men have a higher incidence of stroke
  • Prior stroke or TIA
  • Race; African-Americans have a higher incidence of stroke
  • Smoking
  • Vascular disease, especially carotid narrowing (artery carrying blood to the brain)

Stroke is a symptom of vascular or blood vessel disease. Most strokes are caused by blood clots blocking an artery. A blood clot can come from another part of the body, or can be caused by a smaller clot in an artery narrowed down from plaque build-up.

Things you must do to lower your risk for stroke:

  • Monitor blood pressure regularly and treat high blood pressure
  • Exercise
  • If you are diabetic, control blood glucose levels
  • If you smoke, quit
  • Manage cholesterol levels
  • Manage weight

You may see these and other specialists during your diagnosis and treatment for stroke:

  • Case managers
  • Chaplains
  • Hospitalists
  • Intensivists
  • Interventional neuroradiologists
  • Neurologists
  • Neuroradiologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Occupational therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiatrists
  • Physical therapists
  • Registered dietitians
  • Registered nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers
  • Speech pathologists

Stroke treatment and care requires a whole team of dedicated physicians and health care professionals. We are honored to work together for patients and families of the Inland Northwest.

Awards

U.S. News & World Report 2023-24 High-Performing Hospital for Stroke
Mother and daughter researching on laptop smiling
THE POWER OF OUR NETWORK 

Part of Providence Spokane Heart Institute

For over 60 years our patients have been the heart of everything we do.

  • You’ll experience innovative heart care here. Our Spokane doctors pioneered emergency surgery to repair heart arteries during a heart attack to make treatment less invasive.
  • With the only heart transplant center and the only adult and teen congenital heart center in the Inland Northwest, we are here for your heart care.
  • With six hospitals and more than 20 outreach locations, you can access leading-edge care close to home.

Learn More About Providence Spokane Heart Institute