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Stroke

Time is critical when you are having a stroke. A stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted by a clot or broken vessel. When this happens, you begin to lose brain cells and you may experience permanent loss of cognitive (thinking) and physical function. Strokes can also be fatal. Prompt treatment can greatly improve your chance of good health following a stroke.

After a stroke begins, you have a narrow window of time in which to obtain the most effective treatments. It is important to call 911 immediately if you think you may be having a stroke.

Knowing the signs of a stroke is crucial to avoiding any delays. Symptoms can include:

  • Numbness and/or weakness, usually one-sided, in the face, arm or leg
  • Severe headache
  • Trouble walking or other signs of loss of coordination
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness

There are two main types of stroke. An ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot that blocks a vessel in the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a vessel in the brain bursts. Hemorrhagic strokes can be either intracerebral, in which bleeding occurs in the brain, or subarachnoid, in which bleeding occurs in the space surrounding the brain.

Risk factors for ischemic stroke include hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, cardiovascular disease and smoking. Hemorrhagic strokes are most often related to hypertension.

A transient ischemic attack (TIA), or “ministroke,” often resembles a stroke, but typically lasts less than an hour and does not cause permanent damage. This type of stroke should still be treated as an emergency as you do not know how long it will last. A TIA is a warning sign that you may have an ischemic stroke later.

If you or a loved one experiences any signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Immediate access to advanced treatment when you are having a stroke gives you the best chance of recovery.

The emergency, cardiovascular and neurovascular experts of Indiana University Health are available 24 hours a day to diagnose and treat your condition. Our comprehensive approach ensures that you receive high-quality care starting with emergency services and continuing through to rehabilitation.

At the emergency department, diagnostic and imaging studies can help determine the presence of a stroke, along with its type, so that treatment can begin. Studies can include:

We are a high-volume center with the expertise and resources necessary to successfully treat all types of stroke. Our expert team includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency medicine physicians, neuroradiologists, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, pharmacists and technologists.

Across the state, IU Health operates several stroke centers. IU Health Methodist is the first Comprehensive Stroke Center in the state, as certified by The Joint Commission, a national accrediting body for healthcare organizations. This designation is the highest level of accreditation reserved for facilities that focus on stroke care.  Comprehensive Stroke Center certification means we meet strict performance and outcome standards while providing 24/7 access to specialists and advanced technologies.

Several of our hospitals across Indiana hold accreditations, such as the Primary Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission. This designation means we meet high standards for staffing, procedures and training.

We also help care for patients in all parts of the state through the IU Health Stroke Telemedicine program, which uses advanced videoconferencing technology to connect physicians in community hospitals with our neurologists.

Our affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Neurology gives us access to the latest innovations in stroke diagnosis and treatment. We constantly seek ways to improve care through our cerebrovascular outcomes center and other clinical and research efforts, and we take an active role in preparing the next generation of physicians.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Stroke Treatment Information

We offer a variety of treatment options depending on the type of stroke you have and your individual needs.

Ischemic Stroke

For this type of stroke, we dissolve or remove the clot that is blocking blood flow to the brain. Options include:

Hemorrhagic Stroke

Treatment for a hemorrhagic stroke varies depending on several factors, including type and severity.

For subarachnoid hemorrhagic strokes, treatment generally centers on repairing the ruptured aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (tangled blood vessels) that is causing the stroke. Options include:

Treatment for intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke consists mainly of supportive care, including managing blood pressure and keeping the airway open. Surgery to relieve pressure on the brain by removing blood is helpful in some cases.

Transient Ischemic Attack

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) generally resolves itself, but there is no way to know in advance that this will occur. These attacks are warning signs of a possible future stroke and require the same series of tests that are performed for an ischemic stroke. Treatment is focused on preventing future strokes. Options include:


Stroke Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.

Find a Specialist

Enter a Zip Code to find a specialist at IU Health.


Stroke Support Services

The following websites can help you learn more about stroke: