Stroke Care

Stroke Care


The acronym BE FAST is a handy technique to help you quickly recognize common signs of a stroke.


  • Balance - Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
  • Eyes – Is there sudden blurred or double vision or sudden, persistent vision trouble?
  • Face – Ask the person to smile. Is one or both sides of the face drooping?
  • Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one side drift downward? Is there weakness or numbness on one side?
  • Speech – Does the person have slurred or garbled speech? Can he/she repeat simple phrases?
  • Time – Call 911 for immediate medical attention if you notice one or more of these signs. Also, take note of when the symptoms began and when the person was last normal.

About 2 million nerve cells are lost for every minute strokes go untreated. So don’t wait, don’t hesitate. Call 911.


Hospitals are still the safest place to be in a medical emergency. If you witness the signs of stroke -- Take immediate action. IF YOU ARE HAVING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL 911!



Sinai is the first hospital in Maryland certified as an Advanced Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. The Stroke Center at Sinai offers a 36-bed unit within the Berman Brain & Spine Institute. The Center uses an interdisciplinary team approach to patient care that includes physicians, nurses, case managers and rehabilitation therapists, all highly trained in treating patients with neurological deficits. Occupational, physical, and speech therapists typically assess patients with stroke within 24 hours of their admission, in alignment with best practices outlined by the American Heart Association.


The interdisciplinary team plays an integral role in educating patients and families about stroke prevention by teaching the signs, symptoms and stroke risk factors at play. Particular attention is paid to the importance of smoking, drug, and alcohol cessation. All team members are required to regularly participate in continuing education related to stroke to maintain best practices in their field.

Occupational therapy (OT)

evaluates for any changes in physical abilities and cognition, as they relate to function and safety. Therapists assess the patient's ability to complete activities of daily living and more complex tasks such as returning to work and driving. Recommendations may be made for adaptive equipment, supervision level needed, caregiver education and additional therapy services.

Physical therapy (PT)

valuates a patient’s muscle tone, balance, strength, coordination and endurance; specifically, how these impact mobility and safety. Just like in OT, recommendations may be made for adaptive equipment and additional therapy, either while still in acute care or when discharged to the next level of rehabilitative care.

Speech language pathology (SLP)

has as their primary role the evaluation and treatment of swallowing problems and making recommendations for the safest means of nutrition. When indicated, the SLP can use objective imaging to further assess swallow function. The SLP also assesses for changes in memory, thinking and communication skills and provides recommendations to both stroke center staff and patient’s family to facilitate better communication with the patient.


Using an interdisciplinary approach, the therapists collaborate with patients, patient families, nurses, social work case managers, and physicians to provide appropriate discharge recommendations, including additional therapy services. When appropriate, patients may continue their inpatient rehabilitation course at the Berman Neurological Rehabilitation Center, where they receive three hours of therapy, daily, consistent with best practices defined by both the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

Advanced Stroke Treatment

To provide the best possible care for our patients, LifeBridge Health has established a stroke-management “NeuroRescue Network,” with the goal to decrease complications from the disease while increasing the efficiency of care. Patients with stroke require special attention and testing, especially because the minutes after a stroke are crucial. These patients often have multiple health problems that require continuous medical attention to reduce the risks of future strokes. The network's streamlined system allows patients to benefit from faster treatment and discharge to a rehabilitation program, all at a lower cost. Such dedicated stroke units and specialized care are associated with decreased lengths of stay, institutionalization, dependency, and death.

The Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center at Sinai Hospital was the first center in the state to deploy RAPID software, and the LifeBridge Health System is the only hospital system to have RAPID deployed at all of its facilities. The RAPID (RApid processing of Perfusion and Diffusion) system allows for comparison of MRI and CT perfusion studies to determine the amount of brain tissue that can be treated and saved.

RAPID technology allows LifeBridge Health practitioners to treat patients, who would otherwise likely be left with significant speech, language, and health deficits. Our use of this breakthrough technology avoids unnecessary transfers, enhances patient experience, and improves overall quality of care for patients with signs and symptoms of stroke.

The LifeBridge Health Stroke Center of Excellence includes the following interdisciplinary components:


  • Focused, interdisciplinary stroke team that ensures appropriate protocols are employed to support early diagnosis and optimal intervention
  • Highly qualified neurologists and neurointerventionalists who provide 24/7 coverage
  • Specialized acute care delivered by stroke specialists during the critical early recovery stage
  • Use of advanced interventional approaches that incorporate leading-edge technologies to support improved outcomes
  • Participation in clinical research trials to support early adoption of promising stroke technologies and clinical practices
  • Formalized screening and education programs that raise awareness of stroke
  • Integrated rehabilitation program that provides customized patient support and increases compliance with preventive therapies
  • Quality improvement program that focuses on streamlining processes to bring evidenced-based care safely and rapidly to the patient