Primary Stroke Center

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Primary Stroke Center

Time is Brain!

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), each year approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. On average, someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds, and stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

As a certified Primary Stroke Center, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital uses the guidelines set forth by The Joint Commission to improve patient care and ultimately, patient outcomes related to stroke. The staff at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital is committed to providing the most up-to-date and evidence-based patient care. Because immediate care is crucial when diagnosing, treating, and managing a patient with a stroke, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital has established “Stroke Alert”, which is a quick response activated in the hospital or emergency department (ED) that includes the teamwork of radiology technicians, laboratory technicians, ED or in-patient physicians, the neurologist on-call, and nursing staff. Other key members include speech therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists to provide comprehensive patient care.

Stroke is a medical EMERGENCY and the first three hours are critical. If you or someone you know experiences any of the following listed symptoms, please call 911 IMMEDIATELY and ask to be taken to the closest Stroke Center.

Stroke Signs and Symptoms include the following:

  • Sudden onset of weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side)
  • Sudden onset of a severe headache that has no known cause
  • Sudden onset of vision changes
  • Sudden onset with trouble saying or understanding words
  • Sudden onset of confusion
  • Sudden onset of weakness or changes in walking, balance, or coordination

Using the easy mnemonic device "FAST" to remember stroke symptoms can help expedite medical and surgery stroke intervention. If the stroke symptoms come on abruptly or are one-sided, CALL 911 immediately for emergency treatment.
F- Face: Uneven smile; Facial droop/numbness; Vision disturbance.
A – Arm & leg: Weakness; Numbness; Difficulty walking
S – Speech: Slurred; Inappropriate words; mute
T – Time: Time is critical; Call 911

Saint Francis Memorial Hospital was awarded the 2014 Stroke Excellence Award and the 2014 America's 100 Best Specialty Care-Stroke Care by Healthgrades.


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Saint Francis Memorial Hospital
900 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 353-6000