Colorado's First Comprehensive Stroke Center as cerfified by the Joint Commission

Comprehensive Stroke Center Colorado

Swedish Medical Center is the ONLY Stroke Center in the Rocky Mountain region four-times certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and now as the first Comprehensive Stroke Center in the state and Rocky Mountain region.

Signs of a stroke

Think FAST and call 911 if you or someone you are with has:

FAST: Face is one side drooping; arms: can you raise your arms; speech: are words slurred; time: time is critical

TIME IS BRAIN. If you think you or a loved one is having a stroke, do not delay in seeking medical attention. The only immediate therapies for stroke are time sensitive, so call 911.

60 percent of stroke symptoms are recognized by someone other than the person experiencing the stroke – someone like you – so remember to think FAST!

What is a stroke?

A stroke can happen to anyone at any time and is a “brain attack”, meaning blood flow to an area of the brain gets cut off. The cells in the affected area of the brain do not get oxygen and start to die off. Abilities controlled by this area of the brain, such as muscle control or memory, can be lost.

As 30,000 brain cells die each second during a stroke, medical personnel needs to intervene as quickly as possible to stop the stroke and limit any damage.

What makes Swedish the top choice for stroke care?

We care for more stroke patients more quickly than any other hospital in Colorado. Review our Stroke Data Report.

  • Our STROKE ALERT system: When we know a stroke patient is on the way, a "Stroke Alert" is issued so that our dedicated stroke team, including a neurologist, dedicated stroke advanced practice nurse and CT technician, can meet stroke patients arriving by ambulance at the door of the ER to assess the patient and begin appropriate treatment right away.
  • We coordinate with EMS providers in Denver: When EMS providers see a person experiencing signs and symptoms of stroke, they know to call ahead to notify Swedish of the potential stroke patient so that we can activate our "Stroke Alert" and be waiting for the patient, ready to begin treatment.
  • Our dedicated AirLife stroke air transport team: These professionals are truly only a "phone call away" to provide rapid transport to Swedish from hospitals all over the western region.
  • We offer “round-the-clock coverage by an interventional neuro-radiologist: These specialized physicians from our interventional radiology department can place catheters in a patient's artery to remove a blood clot that is causing a stroke. There are other procedures they do to repair arteries in the brain as well. These physicians work quickly with the neurologists to assess if a procedure to mechanically remove a clot in the brain is possible. State-of-the-art devices can be used to remove blood clots from the brain in eligible patients. Swedish participates in several clinical trials related to the use of these devices and catheters in acute stroke.
  • Nurses and rehabilitation therapists (such as a physical therapist) who specialize in stroke and participate in continuing education for stroke care.
  • Our Acute Rehabilitation Unit: Specializes in acute neurological, stroke and trauma rehabilitation therapies. The professionals on this unit are experts in providing a "robust" therapy plan for each patient to help them during stroke recovery and go home as soon as possible.
  • Our CO-DOC program: State-of-the-art technology that uses telemedicine to deliver expert stroke diagnosis and treatment to stroke patients throughout Colorado.
  • Swedish's partnership with the Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI): CNI provides outreach programs, education, rehabilitation services for patients and their families. We partner with CNI for stroke- related research studies.

Coordinated care provides expert stroke treatment for the best outcomes

Our experienced and specially trained team extends to intensivists, hospitalists, neuro-radiologists and interventionalists, neurosurgeons, CCU nurses, dedicated neurology nurses, rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and case managers, all of whom provide care for patients during recovery.

Evidence shows that it is a multidisciplinary team as Swedish has that improves patient outcomes. Our data demonstrates that our outcomes are better than other hospitals as we rapidly treat stroke, prevent complications during recovery, provide intensive rehabilitation therapies and create a plan with patients to prevent another stroke.

Learn how the expert team at Swedish’s Stroke Center saved Mandy Banks’ life.