Stroke

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Hunterdon Healthcare’s Emergency Department was designated a Primary Stroke Center by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services in 2008. This designation is based on Hunterdon’s comprehensive capabilities to rapidly identify, evaluate and treat stroke patients, by providing (among others) clot-busting medications, such as tPA, based on national recommendations.

Because immediate care is critical to a stroke patient’s survival and recovery, Hunterdon follows Neurological Society guidelines and is committed to having a stroke team available within 15 minutes following the diagnosis of a potential acute stroke. Hunterdon’s door to CT scan time is 25 minutes, making the entire diagnostic process from door to CT interpretation in 45 minutes or less. Board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons are on call at all times.

Stroke_RobotHunterdon Healthcare also uses the TeleNeurology Robot in the Emergency Department when a stroke is suspected.  At first, it appears similar to beginning a conversation via Skype, but it is far more superior.  The robot can be wheeled into the patient’s room and has a monitor where the neurologist appears on a screen and can assess the patient.  The neurologist is able to remotely turn the robot’s head to better view the patient and zoom in to see their pupils or other vital signs.  He also has the ability to talk to the patient and staff via the robot.  The robot allows the physician to conduct the same kind of neurologic exam as if he were physically in the same room as the patient.  During the consultation, the emergency physician relays the physical findings and shares images so both specialists can discuss the best treatment plan for the patient.  Using the robot allows our emergency department physicians to have our on-call neurologist remote into the room from anywhere to help evaluate the patient.  The sooner treatment is started, the better.

As a designated Primary Stroke Center by the New Jersey Department of Health, Hunterdon Medical Center meets the standards and performance requirements in caring for stroke patients and offering state-of-the-art treatments.

Because stroke is considered among the most serious medical emergencies, prompt and aggressive emergency treatment can save lives and minimize brain injury. One of the most important treatments for stroke, a drug called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), which dissolves clots, can only be injected within three hours of the onset of symptoms.

State-of-the-art neuroimaging services, including computerized tomography (or CT) brain scans and laboratory services, are available 24/7.

Signs of Stroke

Stroke is considered a medical emergency. If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T.* and do this simple test. Call 9-1-1 immediately:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
  • Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 9-1-1 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.

Stroke Symptoms

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

Please note that not all the warning signs occur in every stroke. Do not ignore signs of a stroke, even if they go away. Check the time. When did the first warning sign or symptom start? You’ll be asked this important question later.

If you are with someone who may be having stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. Expect the person to protest; denial is common. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Insist on taking prompt action.

Rehabilitation and Home Health Care

From acute care in the Emergency Department through rehabilitation and home health services, Hunterdon Healthcare has developed a sophisticated protocol to follow stroke patients through recovery, every step of the way. Patients at Hunterdon have access to rehabilitative treatment to help restore physical capabilities, as well as Visiting Health and Supportive Services to ease the return home.

Additional information about stroke is available by visiting the American Stroke Association’s website at www.strokeassociation.org.

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.

*National Stroke Association

Our Physicians

Kristen Rizzo, MD

Kristen Rizzo, MD

Urgent Care
Robert S. Chang, MD

Robert S. Chang, MD

Emergency Medicine
Raafat S. Barsoom, MD

Raafat S. Barsoom, MD

Emergency Medicine
Kathryn L. Grimes, MD

Kathryn L. Grimes, MD

Emergency Medicine
Mona Jaggi, MD

Mona Jaggi, MD

Emergency Medicine
Norma J. Johnson-Villanueva, MD

Norma J. Johnson-Villanueva, MD

Emergency Medicine
David S. Lambert, MD

David S. Lambert, MD

Emergency Medicine
Nimish  Mehta, MD

Nimish Mehta, MD

Emergency Medicine
Michael A. Prendergast, MD

Michael A. Prendergast, MD

Emergency Medicine
Edward D. Spector, MD

Edward D. Spector, MD

Emergency Medicine
Young D. Yoon, MD

Young D. Yoon, MD

Emergency Medicine
James Contiliano, PA-C

James Contiliano, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Thomas Dotro, PA-C

Thomas Dotro, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Michael P. Fama, PA-C

Michael P. Fama, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Default Physician Image

Andrew M. Kusnirik, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Heather E. Shafai, PA-C

Heather E. Shafai, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Edwin K. Kang, PA-C

Edwin K. Kang, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Erin M. Fallon, PA-C

Erin M. Fallon, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Tracey A. Keegan, FNP-BC

Tracey A. Keegan, FNP-BC

Family Nurse Practitioner
Kirsten S. Veneziale, FNP

Kirsten S. Veneziale, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner
Magdalena Dumanski, FNP-C

Magdalena Dumanski, FNP-C

Family Nurse Practitioner

Additional Staff & Specialists

Dana DeAngelis, BSN, RN, SCRN, Stroke Coordinator

Dana DeAngelis, BSN, RN, SCRN, Stroke Coordinator

Julie Kotch, MSN, MHA, RN, Director, Emergency Department

Julie Kotch, MSN, MHA, RN, Director, Emergency Department

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