Emergency Treatment for Stroke

Time is critical when you've had a stroke. Here's why:

We can give you a drug to dissolve the blood clot that caused your stroke but only if you arrive at the hospital within two to three hours from when your stroke symptoms began -- preferably much sooner.

The drug, intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV t-PA), is a clot-buster. It quickly dissolves the blood clots that cause acute ischemic strokes, which reduces that chance that you'll have permanent disability from your stroke. The more quickly you are assessed and treated, the better your outcome.


Baptist Health Emergency Department staff members are experts in rapidly performing the necessary tests to make sure you've had an ischemic stroke and will benefit from t-PA. Baptist Health Paducah is a certified Primary Stroke Center (designated by The Joint Commission).


The biggest obstacle to getting timely treatment for a stroke is not recognizing the signs of a stroke and calling 9-1-1 immediately.

Strokes are common. They are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. If you notice these signs in yourself or someone else, get to an emergency room -- preferably a Primary Stroke Center -- right away:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion or difficulty 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