Stroke treatment in Richmond, Virginia

Retreat Doctors’ Hospital provides quality stroke treatment to our patients in Richmond, Virginia. We aim to provide personalized care to patients who have suffered from a stroke and any complications that may result from it.

To learn more about stroke treatment at Retreat Doctors’ Hospital, please call us at (804) 254-5100.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability, according to the National Stroke Association. A stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off, which deprives brain cells of oxygen and causes them to die. A stroke can cause you to permanently loose speech, movement and memory. If you experience a stroke, you may develop a number of conditions, such as epilepsy—a neurological condition that causes sudden muscle spasms, seizures and/or convulsion. The greater the brain damage, the higher chance you may experience an epileptic episode.

Signs of stroke

If any of the below symptoms appear suddenly, dial 911 and seek emergency care.

  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • A severe headache with no known cause


Remember to act FAST to identify symptoms:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

How to prevent stroke

As scary as stroke can be, it is possible to prevent it from happening. Living a healthy lifestyle contributes greatly to avoiding stroke and the complications associated with it. Factors that can be taken to prevent stroke include:

  • Regulating or eliminating hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Improving poor dieting
  • Decreasing stress
  • Eliminating cigarette smoking
  • Losing weight if you’re considered obese
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Increasing consumption of heart-healthy foods, such as fish in omega-3s, healthy nuts, fruits and vegetables

Types of stroke

Hemorrhagic stroke

Hemorrhagic strokes are the least common type of stroke. Only 15 percent of all strokes are hemorrhagic, but they are responsible for about 40 percent of all stroke deaths.

A hemorrhagic stroke is either a brain aneurysm burst or a weakened blood vessel leak. Blood spills into or around the brain and creates swelling and pressure, damaging cells and tissue in the brain.

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage is the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke that happens when a blood vessel inside the brain bursts and leaks blood into surrounding brain tissue. High blood pressure and aging blood vessels are the most common causes of this type of stroke. Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) can also cause intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke. AVM is a genetic condition of abnormal connection between arteries and veins and most often occurs in the brain or spine.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage involves bleeding in the area between the brain and the tissue covering the brain, known as the subarachnoid space. This type of stroke is most often caused by a burst aneurysm. Other causes can include arteriovenous malformation (AVM), bleeding disorders, head injuries and blood thinners.

Ischemic stroke

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain. High blood pressure is the greatest risk factor for this type of stroke. Ischemic strokes account for about 87 percent of all strokes. An ischemic stroke can occur as an embolic stroke or a thrombotic stroke.

Embolic stroke

In an embolic stroke, a blood clot or plaque fragment—called an embolus—forms somewhere in the body (usually the heart) and travels to the brain. Once in the brain, the clot travels to a blood vessel small enough to block its passage. The clot lodges there, blocking the blood vessel and causing a stroke. About 15 percent of embolic strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation (Afib).

Thrombotic stroke

A thrombotic stroke is caused by a blood clot, known as a thrombus that forms inside one of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. This type of stroke occurs in people with high cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis. Two types of thrombus can cause thrombotic stroke:

  • Large vessel thrombosis is the most common form of thrombotic stroke and it occurs in the brain’s larger arteries. In most cases, long-term atherosclerosis in combination with rapid blood clot formation causes thrombotic stroke. High cholesterol is a common risk factor for this type of stroke.
  • Small vessel disease happens when a very small arterial vessel (small vessel disease or lacunar infarction blocks blood flow. Little is known about the causes of this type of stroke, but it is closely linked to high blood pressure.

Learn more about risk factors for stroke

Telemedicine and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) administration

Telemedicine increases the quality and convenience of healthcare services. It can help provide patients with better, faster and more specialized care. Doctors can provide more convenient, real-time interactions with patients and improve communications with other medical staff.

At Retreat Doctors' Hospital, a Joint-Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center, our expert doctors use onsite examinations and telemedicine capabilities to collaborate with neurologists at Henrico Doctors' Hospital who can also evaluate the patient through a camera and microphone. In addition, the patient can see and interact with the neurologists and see scans and reports of their tests, which can also be shared with a specialist. The neurologist can view head scans, prior reports and records in order to make an informed decision about care.

tPA administration is used for acute stroke patients. tPA is a clot buster drug for blockages in the arteries in the brain. The sooner it is given, the more brain tissue is preserved. This is very important during a stroke because two million brain cells die every minute you are not treated.

This technology leads to faster administration of the clot buster drug, which can lead to improved outcomes in as little as six months. It is more convenient for the patient as they can receive specialized care faster, no matter what time of the day or night. Our own specialized neurologists will utilize this technology and continue to care for the patient throughout their hospital stay.

Educational information on this page provided in partnership with the National Stroke Association.