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Warning Signs

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  2. Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Facial droop
Uneven smile


Arm numbness
Arm weakness


Slurred speech
Difficulty speaking or understanding


Call 911 and get to the hospital immediately.
Acute Stroke

Acute Stroke

Stroke Program receives Gold Plus Award and
Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll

Virginia Hospital Center has received official notification that our Stroke Program has been awarded the 2016 Gold Plus Achievement Award and placement on Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll from Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke.

With all the information available about healthcare today, it's surprising that so many Americans still have misconceptions about strokes, or "brain attacks." Surveys have shown that many of us believe that only the elderly have strokes; that nothing can be done to reduce the risk of having a stroke; and worse yet, that strokes do not require emergency medical care because they cannot be treated anyway.

The truth is a stroke can happen to anyone. A stroke is a true medical emergency, just like a heart attack, and should be treated with the same urgency in order to minimize the damage it can cause. Many risk factors can be controlled to help reduce your risk of suffering a stroke. Virginia Hospital Center gives the patient access to specialized, quality care that enables a stroke to be treated for an optimal recovery outcome.

Here you'll find the medical technology, qualified healthcare professionals, and specialized treatment programs needed to treat strokes from onset through rehabilitation, to ensure that you have the best possible chance for a full recovery and a full life.

Learn more about how the Stroke Unit at Virginia Hospital Center is there for you:

From the Beginning

Effective stroke begins in the Emergency Department with swift and accurate diagnosis followed by immediate medical care...

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The moment a patient arrives at Virginia Hospital Center with stroke symptoms, members of the Stroke Rehabilitation team begin rapid assessment and treatment. Ultrasound testing, CT scans and MRIs can help our team locate blockages in major arteries to the brain, narrowing of blood vessels or blood clots, all telltale indications that the patient is suffering either a stroke or a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). If you are diagnosed as have had a TIA, our team will refer you to a physician who will develop a treatment plan to correct the blood flow problem and prevent the onset of a full stroke.

In the event of a major stroke, Virginia Hospital Center has the technology and personnel needed to provide the very best emergency treatment, including the use of TPA, which when injected can help dissolve the arterial clogs that often cause strokes. Should surgery be required to remove a significant blockage in an artery to the brain, Virginia Hospital Center has all the facilities, equipment and staff needed to begin operating on the patient as soon as possible.

Utilizing the special expertise of our Stroke Unit professionals and emergency medical team, Virginia Hospital Center offers patients suffering from strokes the best possible start to their recovery.


Treatment & Rehabilitation

When a patient is admitted to our dedicated inpatient Stroke Unit, all the services they need are available in one location, delivered by an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals who are specifically trained and certified to assess and treat stroke patients...

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The Stroke Rehabilitation Unit constantly monitors every patient with sophisticated remote equipment. Neurologists are available 24 hours a day to provide immediate treatment. Our nurses undergo in-depth training and continuing education to ensure they provide the very best care to patients recovering from strokes.

Intensive rehabilitation begins right away. Our team includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, clinical psychiatric specialists, social workers, dietitians and discharge planners, as well as physicians and nurses. They develop a customized treatment plan to that takes into account each patient's overall condition, special needs, personal goals and specific challenges.

The Stroke Unit provides the ideal environment for rehabilitation by providing on-site facilities for exercise and activities. In a special gym on the Unit, physical therapists work with patients to help them regain strength and coordination. The Unit also includes a kitchen and bathroom, where occupational therapists teach patients to use techniques and tools that can make everyday activities simpler and safer when they continue their recovery at home.


Ongoing Recovery

The Stroke Unit serves not only to treat and rehabilitate patients, but also as a resource for family and patient education...

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A variety of tools are available for staff to facilitate patient and family teaching. The treatment team emphasizes continuing patient education as part of all its activities. Discharge planners help patients and their families prepare for returning home, and arrange for continuing therapy and services.

Stroke recovery continues throughout life. And throughout your life, you can depend on Virginia Hospital Center and the Stroke Unit to provide expert care, technological tools, personalized attention and the continuing education you need to recover your health and your life.

You may also visit the Neuroscience division at Virginia Hospital Center to learn more on Neuro-Vascular disorder treatments.

What to do if Someone is Having a Stroke

If you think you or someone else may be having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately! Time is essential in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke. The best chances of survival and recovery are if a person gets treatment within 3 hours. Do not waste any time. Time lost is brain lost!

STROKE is an Emergency!
Every minute counts - Act F.A.S.T.

Have the ambulance go to the nearest Certified Stroke Center.

Facts About Stroke

  • Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
  • More than 750,000 people have a stroke each year; 160,000 die from stroke.
  • Strokes cause more than twice as many deaths as breast cancer among American women.
  • African-Americans have twice the rate of stroke as Caucasian-Americans, and twice the death rate attributed to stroke.
  • Virginia and Washington, DC are part of the "Stroke Belt," an area with rates of stroke up to 10% higher than the rest of the country.
  • Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, inactivity and overuse of alcohol are risk factors for stroke.
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Contact Info
  • For more information, call 703.558.5453.

 

Gold Plus Award &
Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognized Virginia Hospital Center for achieving 85% or higher adherence with all Get with the Guidelines®-Stroke achievement measures and 75% or higher compliance with five or more Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke quality measures.

This high level of compliance was sustained for a consecutive interval of 24 months and our program achieved superior “Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy” in 50% or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients to improve the quality of patient care and outcomes.


The Joint Commission Gold of Seal Approval™

The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval™

The Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Advanced Certification recognizes Virginia Hospital Center Acute Stroke Program's commitment to providing outstanding care to our patients and our community.


CARF Accreditation

The Inpatient Rehabilitation Center at Virginia Hospital Center has been accredited by CARF International for both the Inpatient Rehab Hospital Program and the Rehab Stroke Specialty Program – 2013-2016.

1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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