Stroke care

During a stroke (loss of blood flow and oxygen to the brain), getting care as quickly as possible can help protect your brain and your life. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula acts swiftly to give you the right treatment at the right time. That’s why we’ve held Joint Commission certification as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center longer than any other facility in Monterey County.

Rapid response in the ER

If you arrive at the hospital by ambulance, the Emergency department stroke team will meet you right away. A doctor will do a quick medical exam while a stroke-certified Emergency department nurse checks the IV line placed by emergency medical technicians. A phlebotomist (professional who specializes in drawing blood) will take a blood sample for a lab test. Within minutes of your arrival, the care team will perform a CT scan of your brain.

If you come to the Emergency department on your own (not by ambulance) with stroke symptoms, a nurse will examine your:

  • Balance
  • Face and arm movement
  • Speech
  • Vision

If the nurse identifies signs of stroke, you’ll hear a “code stroke” called, alerting the emergency team to respond. You’ll receive a computed tomography (CT) exam as soon as possible to look for bleeding in the brain.

Stroke treatment

Your Emergency department doctor will consult with an on-call neurologist (brain specialist) to determine the best treatment for your situation.

If you’re a candidate for tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) medicine, the doctor will ask a pharmacist to get this treatment ready. This drug dissolves a clot that’s blocking blood to the brain. Rest assured that Community Hospital often delivers this drug to patients who qualify for it within 45 minutes, which is faster than the national standard of 60 minutes. Review the latest quality data on our stroke patient outcomes.

Intensive care

After getting treatment to stop a stroke, you may recover in the intensive care unit (ICU). There, we can monitor your health 24/7 and help you breathe steadily, if needed. We’ll explain your condition and care plan to your family to help them understand what to expect, so they feel confident helping you recover when you are released from the hospital.

Stroke rehabilitation

Neurological rehabilitation will help you start to regain abilities that the stroke affected. Depending on your needs, you may receive physical, occupational, or speech therapy at our:

You may also receive care at a skilled nursing facility in the area.

Reduce your stroke risk

Most strokes are preventable. You can lower your risk of stroke by:

  • Decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels through exercise, healthy eating, and sometimes prescription medication
  • Avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke
  • Managing diabetes
  • Limiting alcohol use to one drink per day for women of all ages and men older than 65, or up to two drinks per day for men younger than 65
  • Talking to your doctor about health conditions that increase the risk of stroke, including sleep apnea, obesity, migraines, and atrial fibrillation (a heart arrhythmia)


Seek emergency medical attention if you notice signs of stroke in yourself or someone else:

Face droops on one side

Arm drifts downward when raised

Speech is slurred or strange

Time to call 911

Record the hour and minute you first noticed symptoms so you can tell the emergency care team.

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