UNC Hospitals Comprehensive Stroke Center

The Comprehensive Stroke Center at the UNC Medical Center is a multi-specialty clinical and research program that incorporates state-of-the-art approaches in caring for patients with stroke or other vascular disorders of the brain. Its mission is to serve the citizens of North Carolina by providing high-quality comprehensive stroke care, educating patients and health care providers, and conducting cutting-edge research in stroke care and prevention.

The UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center's multi-specialty care approach utilizes the expertise of a large group of physicians and staff with specialty training in the treatment of stroke.  Stroke patient care is coordinated by a team of vascular neurologists and neuro-intensivists who work closely with emergency medicine physicians, neurosurgeons, neurointerventionalists, neuroradiologists, vascular surgeons, cardiologists, physiatrists, neuro-trained nurses, and stroke ancillary care specialists (physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, care managers, and social workers). 

Acute stroke care is available 24/7/365 and is provided to medically-eligible patients by an on-call acute stroke team.  The team evaluates patients for acute treatments, such as intravenous thrombolysis, catheter-based interventional procedures, and surgical treatments. The team also screens patients for inclusion in clinical studies and trials of the latest experimental stroke therapies.

Facilities and Nursing Care

Stroke-specific care units at the UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center include a 35-bed acute care floor (6NSH), an 18-bed intermediate care floor (ISCU) and the 16-bed Neuroscience ICU. Patient care is directed by specialty-specific stroke neurologists and coordinated by an experienced stroke nurse coordinator, Nicole Burnett, RN, BSN, CNRN, CCRN.  All nurses caring for patients in the stroke center are required to participate in extensive stroke education on an annual basis.

Award-Winning Care

The UNC Medical Center has a strong track record of quality and excellence in stroke care and has maintained the Joint Commission Disease-Specific Certification as a Primary Stroke Center since its founding in 2004. In 2013, the UNC Medical Center became the first hospital in the Southeast to receive the Joint Commission Advanced Certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, confirming UNC Medical Center’s position as a national leader in stroke care.

Gold-Plus Award 2017The UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center has also received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement Award and is recognized in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus. Hospitals receiving the Gold Plus award must achieve 85% or higher compliance with all Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Achievement Measures and 75% or higher compliance with five or more Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Measures for two or more consecutive years and achieve Thrombolytic Therapy ≤ 60 minutes 75% and ≤ 45 minutes 50% or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

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