Stroke Seal


If you believe you or a family member is having a stroke, dial 9-11 immediately.

Strokes can’t always be prevented. After one occurs, every minute counts. You need a team ready to diagnose and intervene right away.

OU Medicine’s Comprehensive Stroke Center was one of the first centers in Oklahoma to achieve certification for excellence by the Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This designation recognizes an elite group of hospitals nationwide that are uniquely prepared to provide specialized and around-the-clock care. As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, we provide the highest level of care for strokes, including:

  1. IV tPA and endovascular thrombectomy for ischemic stroke
  2. Endovascular and open treatment of brain aneurysms
  3. Endovascular carotid stenting and carotid endarterectomies

OU Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center Team

Our physicians are specialty trained and board certified, including vascular neurologists, neuro-critical care specialists and vascular neurosurgeons. We have 24/7 access to the latest imaging technology and our goal is to find the cause of stroke in every patient.

OU Medicine is committed to leading healthcare and advancing breakthroughs and treatments in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health’s StrokeNET, a network that gives patients access to the latest stroke clinical trials.

Learn more about stroke


Neurology Stroke Treatment Times Infographic

What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to your brain is stopped. It is an emergency situation. Call 911 if you think you might be having a stroke or stroke symptoms. There are three kinds of stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke. This is the most common type of stroke. It happens when a major blood vessel in the brain is blocked. It may be blocked by a blood clot. Or it may be blocked by a buildup of fatty deposit and cholesterol. This buildup is called plaque.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke. This occurs when a blood vessel in your brain bursts, spilling blood into nearby tissues. With a hemorrhagic stroke, pressure builds up in the nearby brain tissue. This causes even more damage and irritation.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). Caused by a temporary blockage and also referred to as a mini stroke

The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to work well. If blood supply is stopped even for a short time, this can cause problems. Brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen.

A stroke can happen to anyone at any time.


An easy way to ​notice warning signs of a stroke is  B.E.F.A.S.T.:

  • Balance - Sudden dizziness or loss of balance
  • Eyes - Sudden loss or changes in vision in one or both eyes
  • Face - Facial droop, uneven smile
  • Arm - Arm numbness or weakness
  • Speech - Slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding
  • Time - Time to get help immediat​ely

Inpatient stroke care

Stroke patients at OU Medicine are cared for in a dedicated Stroke Unit and Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit. During the patient’s stay, vascular neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroscience nurses with advanced training in stroke care, and a medical team containing experts in stroke treatment and complications, including physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists and rehabilitation specialists all work together so patients can have optimal recovery for their individual situation. It has been shown that being treated on a dedicated stroke unit improves survival and functional outcome following stroke, as well as decreasing complications and length of hospital stays. The use of these specially trained physicians and nurses has also been shown to improve stroke patient outcomes.

Patients begin working with occupational and physical therapists, and speech and language pathologists as soon as they are medically ready. If therapy is needed after discharge, we work with patients and their families to plan the best recovery strategies.

Preventive stroke care

As part of a comprehensive team, we are able to collaborate with cardiologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists and vascular surgeons for treatment plans that have a goal to prevent future strokes. Together we use the latest scientific information to put the best stroke prevention plan into action for each patient. This may range from lifestyle changes to the most sophisticated testing and treatment to decrease stroke risk.