Stroke center in Nashville, Tennessee

TriStar Centennial Medical Center has certification from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. This certification recognizes our ability to provide quick assessment and diagnosis of patients showing stroke symptoms and the administration of clot-busting drugs to patients who meet the criteria.

For a free physician referral or more information, call TriStar MedLine® at (800) 242-5662.

A patient's access to high-quality stroke care can mean the difference between life and death, and it can also make a difference in a patient's quality of life after a stroke. In fact, in approximately 80 percent of stroke cases, immediate diagnosis and treatment can reduce or eliminate permanent disability.

Types of stroke

Our specialists in neurological care treat two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked by a clot or other buildup, known as plaque.

Hemorrhagic strokes occur when there is a rupture of the blood vessel, resulting in blood leaking into surrounding brain tissue. This type of stroke is more commonly known as a "brain bleed" or bleeding in the brain.

How to recognize signs of a stroke

Being able to identify stroke symptoms is important—a stroke is a serious medical conditions that requires emergency care. The quicker someone identifies a stroke and receives treatment, the higher the chances are of making a full recovery. Call 911 if you or someone you know experiences any of these warning signs:

  • Sudden onset of confusion
  • Loss of coordination, including walking or balancing
  • Difficulty talking or understanding speech
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Severe headache
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes

The popular acronym, F.A.S.T., is an easy way to remember what to keep an eye out for and do about stroke symptoms:

  • F: Face drooping
  • A: Arm weakness
  • S: Speech slurring or difficulty
  • T: Time to call 911

Stroke treatment

The stroke treatment a patient receives depends on the type of stroke he or she is experiencing.

If you are having an ischemic stroke, you may receive clot-busting medication, such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), or another clot removal device to reestablish blood flow to the brain. Doctors have to work quickly with ischemic stroke patients because the quicker the symptoms are treated, the better the chance of recovery.

Hemorrhagic strokes are more debilitating than ischemic strokes. Although they range in severity, there are less options for a successful intervention. Receiving immediate emergency care can help control the bleeding in the brain and reduce the pressure caused by bleeding. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair ruptured blood vessels.

Stroke rehabilitation

We offer specialized physical therapy and rehabilitation services to help stroke patients during their recovery. Our experienced therapists will create a customized plan to address your specific needs so you can regain your mobility and independence as quickly as possible.

How to reduce your risk of stroke

Having a stroke does not happen "out of the blue". There are many lifestyle factors that reduce your quality of life and increase your risk of having a stroke, such as:

  • Lack of activity and exercise: When you are inactive, you increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or cardiovascular disease. You can take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle, including short walks around your neighborhood, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car furthest away from an entrance.
  • Poor diet and nutrition: If your diet is high in saturated fat, trans fat or cholesterol, it can raise your cholesterol to dangerous levels. With too much bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood, the walls of your arteries develop buildup (plaque) that block the arteries leading to your heart and brain. Improve your diet by eating less sugar and more healthy, small meals with the right balance of nutrition.
  • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2): People with diabetes tend to have other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or extra weight. You can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by exercising on a regular basis, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting your alcohol consumption and eating a well-balanced diet.
  • Cigarette smoking: The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke damages the heart and surrounding blood vessels. If you smoke, quit.
  • High blood pressure: Having high blood pressure is the leading cause of a stroke. However, you can keep your blood pressure down by eating a well-balanced diet, becoming and staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and, if necessary, using medication.

Stroke at TriStar Health

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.

Learn about Stroke