Acute Stroke Services

Stroke happens when blood flow to the brain gets cut off. It is a medical emergency that can’t wait. At Henry Ford Health, we don’t make you wait. Highly skilled stroke experts stand ready around the clock with latest therapies, including mechanical thrombectomy, to give you the best chances for good results.

Why Timely Stroke Care Matters

Your blood delivers a steady flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. A blood vessel tear or blood clot prevents these substances from reaching certain parts of the brain during a stroke. The effects — which may include permanent changes to mental or physical abilities — can be immediate. A small number of people who experience a stroke do not survive.

The faster you get to the hospital (ideally within one hour of noticing symptoms), the better your chances of recovery and survival. At Henry Ford, our stroke specialists come together within minutes to evaluate your symptoms and develop a care plan. With emergency room locations throughout southeast and south central Michigan, you don’t have to travel far to start your care journey.

No matter which Henry Ford emergency room you go to, our stroke experts coordinate your care using advanced technology. If necessary, they arrange a transfer to our Comprehensive Stroke Center. Our stroke team will be waiting for you at the door to begin the critical treatments you may need.

If you think you or a loved one is having a stroke, dial 911. Studies show stroke patients who arrive at the hospital by ambulance receive faster treatment than those arriving on their own.

Acute Stroke Care at Henry Ford: Why Choose Us?

All Henry Ford locations have expert stroke teams. We treat a high volume of cases, so you can count on us for timely care that meets your needs.

Highlights of our program include:

  • National recognition: Henry Ford Hospital is a Comprehensive Stroke Center, The Joint Commission’s highest designation for stroke programs. This prestigious recognition reflects our commitment to delivering world-class services, including specialized therapies for complex stroke.
  • Exceptional outcomes: More of our patients achieve results that exceed national standards after procedures to remove blood clots (thrombectomy). Most stroke survivors go home instead of to another facility after hospital discharge. Explore our stroke volumes and outcomes.
  • Research: Our experts helped write the book on acute stroke care. We led groundbreaking clinical trials testing tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). This clot-busting drug is now the primary lifesaving treatment used around the world for stroke due to blocked arteries. Explore stroke innovation and research.
  • Innovative care: Our experts use catheters to remove brain clots that were previously considered untreatable.
  • Coordination: Advanced therapies, including mechanical thrombectomy, are only available at specific Henry Ford locations. If necessary, we transfer you to these facilities for the care you need as quickly as possible. We use advanced technology including artificial intelligence to make this happen quickly. Find out more about our locations.

Mechanical Thrombectomy for Complex Stroke

Mechanical thrombectomy gives patients with complex stroke more options for healing. This minimally invasive procedure restores blood flow by removing clots that do not respond to tPA alone.

Our team includes one of the world’s first interventional neurologists. This specialty treats brain diseases like stroke with procedures using long tubes (catheters) and sophisticated instruments.

Our commitment to mechanical thrombectomy excellence has earned our program recognition from The Joint Commission. Both the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Henry Ford Hospital and the Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital perform thrombectomy. Our West Bloomfield location is only the second Michigan facility with this certification.

Stroke Services We Offer

We offer complete care and personalized services through every step of your journey. Acute stroke services available at Henry Ford include:

Rapid stroke evaluation

We conduct a physical exam and imaging studies to assess your symptoms. In some cases, we use secure technology to share this information with stroke experts across the Henry Ford system in real time. These collaborations help us quickly determine the treatments you need and whether transfer to another Henry Ford facility is necessary.

Acute stroke treatment

The care that’s right for you depends on the type of stroke you experience and which blood vessels it affects. Learn more about the types of stroke and neurovascular disease we treat.

Your care may include:

  • Clot-busting drugs: If stroke is the result of a blood clot, you may receive an infusion of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). This drug helps dissolve the clot.
  • Mechanical thrombectomy: We make a small incision in an artery in your groin. Then we advance a long tube with a device at the tip through the blood vessel to remove the clot. We may also place coils or stents to repair the blood vessel and prevent complications.
  • Surgery: For a blood vessel tear, you may need surgery to implant clamps that redirect blood flow to healthy blood vessels.

Stroke recovery

After restoring blood flow to the brain, you receive minute-by-minute monitoring in our neuro ICU. As your recovery progresses, you transfer to our stroke step-down unit, one of the few in Michigan. Here, specially trained nurses pay careful attention to your needs and keep your recovery moving forward. Explore stroke recovery and stroke rehabilitation.


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