Comprehensive Stroke Center at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. And when it happens, it's scary – both for the patient and their loved ones who may be left feeling overwhelmed and underprepared.

The Comprehensive Stroke Center at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo is the Western New York region's hub for quality stroke care. Mercy Hospital is certified by the Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC), a recognition given to a select number of American hospitals with the abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.

Presented in conjunction with the Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, we are the only stroke center in Buffalo that has received the nation's highest and most-demanding designation. Meaning, stroke patients at Mercy Hospital can expect:

  • Improved quality of care
  • A higher standard of service
  • Performance of more involved surgical procedures
  • Advanced CT and MRI capabilities
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • A dedicated neurocritical care unit that provides care 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Our team provides a comprehensive approach to stroke care before, during, and after a patient's suffering from a stroke, with a commitment to preventive, emergency, and rehabilitative care.

Why Choose Mercy Hospital for Stroke Care?

"One of the things that I can say without a shadow of a doubt, is that our entire team at Mercy Hospital puts the patient's outcome as their number-one priority," says Alex Foley, BN, BSN, Stroke Coordinator at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. 

Here, the commitment to "comprehensive" goes beyond the cutting-edge treatment we provide for our stroke patients. There's an equal emphasis on post-stroke care and neurologic rehabilitation, using your condition prior to stroke as a baseline to understand what we can do to better treat you. At the end of the day, it's all about quality of life – you are our standard for the right way to care. 

Advanced Stroke Treatment Provided at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo

Accepting the most severe cases from other stroke centers in the region, our team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, radiologists, nurses, and other specializing physicians work together to provide top-of-the-line care for the full spectrum of stroke symptoms and stroke-related cases.

  • Carotid endarterectomy– A surgeon opens the carotid artery, removes plaque and sutures the artery to close the incision.
  • Cerebral bypass– A procedure where blood is rerouted through a healthy artery instead of the blocked artery, to increase blood flow to the brain. 
  • Clipping/coiling– A device is inserted into the blood vessel to discourage blood from flowing into an unruptured aneurysm, to prevent a hemorrhagic stroke from occurring.
  • Hemicraniectomy– Procedure to relieve pressure within the brain once a stroke has occurred by removing a bone flap from the skull. 
  • Mechanical thrombectomy– A non-invasive procedure using a catheter where a surgeon places a stent to open a clogged blood vessel. 
  • Thrombolytic therapy– Dangerous blood clots can be dissolved with "clot-busting" drugs, if administered within a specific time frame after symptom onset. 

Inpatient Stroke Care

During your stay with us, the Mercy Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center is committed to providing patients with compassionate, individualized care that begins as soon as you enter our emergency department, and extends through your inpatient stay and rehabilitation.

Our stroke patients are cared for in a dedicated stroke unit or neurocritical care unit, depending on their progress. Medical research has shown that having a specific department built around your condition can improve patient outcomes, decrease risk for potential complications, and reduce the amount of time spent in the hospital.

Our team is comprised of some of the region's best neurologists, neurosurgeons, and specialist nurses who provide your acute care, working alongside stroke recovery experts, including physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and rehabilitation specialists. We're all working together to achieve a common goal – so you can have the best possible recovery.

Quality Scores

Our quality measures illustrate how well we're doing and where we need to improve. To help you make an informed decision about your healthcare, we've provided our quality scores below.

Best Practice Measures

Mercy Hospital exceeds the national average in a number of measures that are recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the prevention and treatment of stroke. The table below shows our compliance with some of these measures as compared to other comprehensive stroke centers across the nation. 

Best Practice Measure

2019

National Average

Measures taken to prevent blood clots during hospitalization 98.4% 96.2%
Medication (such as aspirin) prescribed at discharge to prevent blood clots 100% 98.0%
Cholesterol lowering medication prescribed at discharge 99.0% 96.6%
Stroke education provided 97.8% 93.7%
Assessment for rehabilitation services after discharge 100% 97.9%

 

Time to Thrombolytic

When a stroke occurs, “time is brain.” In certain types of stroke caused by a clot, medications known as thrombolytics can be used to break up the clot and restore blood flow to the brain. These medications must be administered as quickly as possible. Receiving the drug timely greatly reduces the risk of permanent disability. The American Heart Association / American Stroke Association has set the goal for recognition of the highest performing hospitals to be 50% of patients receiving the drug within 45 minutes, and 75% of patients receiving the drug within 60 minutes. Mercy Hospital of Buffalo far exceeds these goals in both measures.

Interventional Procedures

Endovascular coiling is a minimally invasive procedure performed to treat a brain aneurysm, which is a weakened area in the wall of an artery in the brain. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can cause bleeding, or hemorrhagic stroke. Our neurosurgeons at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo are specially trained to perform endovascular coiling. The procedure is performed during the angiogram.  A catheter is inserted into a vessel over the hip and navigated through to the brain and into the aneurysm. Coils are then packed into the aneurysm, preventing blood flow from entering into the aneurysm.  Over time, a clot will form, removing the risk of rupture or rebleed.  As compared to surgical treatments, patients undergoing endovascular coiling generally experience shorter hospital stays, fewer complications, and quicker overall recovery times.

At Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, there have been no patients experiencing serious complications from an endovascular coiling procedure.