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At the first sign of stroke, you need experts who can promptly diagnose and treat. The experienced neurologists at California Hospital Medical Center provide coordinated response and specialized stroke services 24 hours a day.
The Primary Stroke Center at California Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) is committed to providing access to emergency care for our community and populations at risk for suffering any type of stroke. The mission of the stroke program is to ensure health equity and that our community has available the best possible care to improve their outcomes should they suffer a stroke or conditions affecting blood flow to and within the brain.
The Stroke Center has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission that means we meet national standards for quality and patient safety in stroke care. Every year we earned the highest possible honors from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association, including Get WithThe Guidelines Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll awards for a high level of performance for reducing stroke-related death and disability.
The interprofessional stroke care team is composed of expert neurologists, stroke coordinator, registered nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, nutritionists and other clinicians that provide an integrated approach starting in the Emergency Department and in the dedicated stroke unit.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States by the AHA. Someone on average suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
Recognizing the first warning signs of stroke and getting expert medical care quickly is critical for successful treatment and recovery. Our trained stroke team provides prompt diagnosis and treatment based on national standards.
B.E.F.A.S.T. is an easy way to watch for signs that someone is having a stroke. Watch for the following concerns:
BALANCE: Gait Imbalance– Is the person leaning to one side or staggering when walking? Does the person have trouble with coordination?
EYES: Vision Changes– Does the person have sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes?
FACE: Face Drooping– Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
ARMS: Arm Weakness– Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH: Speech Difficulty– Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
TIME: Time to call 911– If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.
CHMC is proud to be designated as a primary stroke center with Dr. Antonio K. Liu as the Stroke Program Medical Director. Dr Liu is a board certified neurologist with advanced training in neurology and stroke care. The Nurse Stroke Program Coordinator follows the progress of every patient, reviews the plan of care, provides recommendations using evidence-based guidelines, and provides consultation for care at home in collaboration with the interprofessional team members.
If you have any concerns about patient safety and quality of stroke care you have right to contact the Joint Commission who certifies CHMC as a primary stroke center. The Joint Commission contact information is available here.
Medicine is Dr. Liu’s second career. He was an electrical engineer before attending medical school at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and his neurology residency at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Liu is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is an expert in his field with over 55 publications in peer reviewed journals and serves as a clinical professor in the Department of Neurology at Loma Linda University.