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Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease

Maine Medical Center (MMC) is committed to meeting the specialized needs of stroke patients. We offer streamlined access to comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation resources for stroke. Specially-trained physicians and support staff are on hand 24/7 for the administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), the only FDA-approved thrombolytic agent for treating ischemic stroke within the first three hours of the onset of symptoms.

As a result of close collaboration between the multidisciplinary stroke program and MMC's Emergency Department, more patients are brought into the stroke care pathway within the three-hour window needed for tPA administration.

MMC was the first healthcare facility in Maine to earn distinction as a Primary Stroke Center from the Joint Commission, demonstrating its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. MMC earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for utilizing a standardized method of delivering integrated and coordinated clinical care based on criteria developed in conjunction with the American Stroke Association and the Brain Attack Coalition.

Program Highlights

  • 24 hour local Neurology coverage (on-site coverage 7 days per week, 8 am to 6 pm).
  • Emergency team evaluation with an emergency medicine physician within 15 minutes of any patient exhibiting stroke symptoms.
  • Written care pathways and order sets to streamline and accelerate diagnosis and treatment of stroke.
  • Strong communication with emergency medical services (EMS) to ensure that medical personnel are informed when a stroke patient is in-route to MMC.
  • Highly trained emergency department staff who are experienced in diagnosing and treating strokes and maintain communication with EMS and the stroke team.
  • Dedicated team of caregivers, including physicians, nurses, technologists and therapists with expertise in stroke care that work together to ensure the best outcomes.
  • Neuro-imaging services to rapidly determine if a patient has a burst blood vessel or clot blocking blood flow to the brain. Imaging studies are performed within 25 minutes of a physician's order, and radiology evaluates images within 20 minutes of completion.
  • Laboratory services available 24 hours a day.
  • Quality improvement activities including a registry for tracking patient treatments, timelines of treatments, and measures of patient outcomes.
  • *Retrospective and "real time" review of the quality of stroke patient care by the stroke program team.
  • Coordination of care throughout the entire healing process.

Integrated Rehabilitative Care

An essential component of stroke care is rehabilitation. MMC and New England Rehabilitation Hospital work closely together to give patients a seamless continuum of care as they recover from a stroke. To learn more about neurological rehabilitation, please go to Rehabilitation Service

Telestroke Network

The Neuroscience Institute is developing a state-wide Telestroke Network to bring the expertise of Maine Medical Center's neurologists to community hospitals' emergency departments, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Using state-of-the-art videoconferencing and electronic transfer of CT scans, the Network gives community-based physicians timely access to consultations from specialists skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

When time means brain, the ability of this system to expedite stroke diagnosis and treatment is crucial to ensuring the best patient outcomes.