A corkscrew-type device winds through arteries and up to the brain of a stroke patient, pulling out a blood clot and saving part of their brain function.

It’s the type of innovative technique that marks Sparrow’s Stroke Center.

Stroke is the third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer and is the leading cause of severe, long-term disability.

Quick action is essential when a stroke occurs. Our team of experts from neurology, neurosurgery, internal medicine and other disciplines have the capability to stop a stroke in progress, giving patients the best chance at immediate recovery.

Sparrow is the only mid-Michigan hospital that has responded to the challenge, creating the region’s only Certified Primary Stroke Center accredited by the Joint Commission.

That designation – given to an elite network of facilities nationwide – recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts toward delivering the best care possible to patients. It is awarded by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and means Sparrow complies with national standards on care and performance.

The standards are rigorous, rating performance on such issues as how quickly critical care is administered to a patient after they have suffered a stroke.

Sparrow also has been recognized for its quick use of a clot-busting drug, or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), in a statewide clinical trial. Sparrow is among America’s best when it comes to distribution of tPA, surpassing the average of all other hospitals in nearly every category. The results for 2011 are listed below:

Stroke Admission in 2011

  • 700 ischemic (clot causing) stroke, hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke, TIA (mini stroke)
  • 97 percent of eligible patients receive tPA (clot busting drug) if arrive within 2 hours; National 85 percent.
  • 73 percent of eligible patients receive tPA (clot busting drug) if arrive within 3.5 hours; National 55 percent.
  • 14 percent of ischemic stroke patients receive tPA (clot busting drug); National 10 percent.
  • Nine percent of all stroke patients receive tPA (clot busting drug); National seven percent.
  • Door to needle time (median) = 54 minutes; National 73 minutes.
  • 0 percent serious complications in patients who received IV tPA (clot busting drug) in 2011 at Sparrow.

(Source: Outcome Sciences Registry)

As the regional leader in stroke treatment, Sparrow provides varied options. Our physicians are the most skilled in the region and offer the latest specialized treatments to care for brain disorders.

Sparrow’s dedicated team of specialists use state-of-the-art techniques to treat strokes, from clot-busting drugs to innovative practices to save as much brain function as possible.

Sparrow and Michigan State University formed the region’s first comprehensive stroke treatment program and continue to work closely together in stroke care.

The hospital has a unit specifically dedicated to stroke victims, ensuring them faster, more comprehensive treatment by physicians and nurses with expertise in stroke care.