Brain and spine care

Stroke care

Call 9-1-1 if you suspect a stroke

Learn the BE FAST signs of a stroke

Nationally recognized care, local service

You can trust Legacy Health. With five Legacy hospitals in the Portland and Vancouver areas offering certified and complete stroke centers, expert care is practically right around the corner. Legacy's stroke program is nationally recognized for helping people survive strokes and improve their quality of life afterwards. Our hospitals also rank among the best in the United States for stroke care.

Our hospitals have also earned Stroke Gold Plus with Honor Roll Elite status from the American Heart Association and the National Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines program. 

We work closely with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) throughout northern Oregon and Southwest Washington to help identify stroke patients and get them to treatment quickly and safely. To give patients the best chance for a full recovery, rehabilitation begins before patients even leave the hospital.

Stroke services

A stroke can happen to anyone at any time. In stroke, every second counts. Prompt action can prevent further damage to the brain and help someone make a full recovery. Our team of stroke specialists offer round-the clock care and an entire range of treatment options in every stroke center, including:

  • Management of smaller strokes with medication.
  • Minimally invasive (interventional) procedures.
  • Neurosurgery, including carotid endarectomy, carotid artery stenting and BrainPath, which is a revolutionary surgery technique that treats a hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke while also preserving brain function. Learn more about BrainPath.

The care a patient receives depends on a few factors: 

  • Whether the stroke is caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or a leaking artery (hemorrhagic stroke). 
  • Where in the brain the stroke occurred. 
  • How much brain tissue is involved. 

Legacy primary stroke centers bring together the latest research and close teamwork between neurologists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists and case managers to ensure that every stroke patient gets the best possible care.

Know the signs of a stroke with BE FAST

During a stroke, every second counts. Prompt action can prevent further damage to the brain and help someone recover fully. Know the signs of stroke: Use the term “BE FAST” to help you remember. This is: 

B:  Balance –– Sudden loss of balance.
E:  Eyes –– Sudden trouble seeing out of one or both eyes.
F:  Face –– Sudden weakness on one side of the face.
A:  Arm –– Sudden weakness in one arm or leg.
S:  Speech –– Sudden loss of speech.
T:  Time to call 911 if even one of these problems is new.


BE FAST signs of stroke
*BE FAST was developed by Intermountain Healthcare, as an adaptation of the FAST model implemented by the American Stroke Association. Reproduced with permission from Intermountain Healthcare. Copyright 2011, Intermountain Healthcare.

If you notice any BE FAST signs, call 9-1-1. Do no drive to the hospital

Some other stroke symptoms are:

  • Problems walking or with coordination. The person seems clumsy or has trouble keeping themselves upright.
  • Decrease or loss of consciousness. The patient may be sleepy or on the verge of passing out.

These signs and symptoms don't always mean someone is having a stroke. Many other problems can look like a stroke. However, it is very important to get the person help right away, just to be sure.

What if the stroke symptoms go away?

Sometimes stroke symptoms disappear and the person can seem fine. This could be a transient ischemic attack — a TIA or mini-stroke. TIAs resemble a stroke but symptoms disappear. This can happen over hours or even minutes. Even if the patient feels better and appears fine, a stroke may well have occurred.

TIAs can be very dangerous. They are not strokes that didn't happen. Rather, they are strokes that haven't happened yet. It’s critical that a doctor sees the patient in order to keep a stroke from happening.



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