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Primary Stroke Center: Our team
UPMC Altoona 's Primary Stroke Center utilizes a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals that utilize established evidence based clinical practice guidelines to provide accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment for stroke.

Stroke has been upgraded to a priority ambulance dispatch in Blair County - the same level as a heart attack. It is imperative that patients who are experiencing symptoms of a stroke, or "brain attack," receive urgent medical attention. Pre-hospital and EMS personnel are specialty trained to recognize and evaluate stroke victims and provide immediate transport for treatment.

UPMC Altoona 's stroke-trained neurologists and neurosurgeons are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The neurologist and neurosurgeons are only two components of the stroke care team. Others include an emergency physician, emergency nurse, stroke nurse, critical care nurse, CT scan technician, lab technician, radiologist, respiratory therapist and a member from pastoral care.

Our Acute Stroke Program Coordinator oversees the standards of care for acute stroke patients and provides education to nursing staff, patients and families. Radiologists, CAT scan capabilities, and laboratory testing are available 24 hours a day, and UPMC Altoona recently welcomed neuroradiologists to the stroke team. They are specifically trained in stroke and brain imaging techniques.

A special Rapid Response Stroke Team has been established to respond swiftly to patients both in the emergency department and elsewhere in the hospital who have stroke symptoms less than six hours old. The "Code Gray" pager system alerts team members to rush to the patient's bedside.

Our Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department offers inpatient and outpatient physical, speech, occupational and recreational therapy. Home health care and follow-up services are also available.

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