Comprehensive Stroke Center

An AHCA (Agency for Health Care Administration) Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center and Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center, Holy Cross serves as the preferred hospital for local Fort Lauderdale emergency personnel responding to strokes. Thanks to a partnership with emergency medical services teams, we are able to start treatment before patients even reach the emergency room.

We provide round-the-clock personnel, infrastructure, expertise and programs to diagnose and treat stroke and TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) patients, who require a high degree of medical and surgical care, specialized tests or interventional treatments. We also offer rehabilitation and after-care for stroke/TIA patients.

Our expert interventional and neurosurgical teams can remove and dissolve blood clots with pinpoint precision and place a stent to open a clogged vessel within minutes of a stroke.

A recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award for eight consecutive years (2010-2017), this year we also achieved the highest designation that the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association bestows on a stroke center: the Get With The Guidelines(R) Stroke Gold Plus Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, demonstrating our commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, 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. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Holy Cross Hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

Our AHCA (Agency for Health Care Administration) Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center is also distinguished by The Joint Commission (TJC) as a Primary Stroke Center. According to TJC, its Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers "recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care."  It signifies that the services we provide "have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes" and that our quality of care "is effectively managed to meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients."

Fast Evaluation for Stroke Treatment

When acute stroke happens, our Stroke Team is activated and quickly facilitates a neurology consult by utilzing teleneurology to evaluate the patient for tPA administration. tPA administration is stroke treatment that must be administered within three (3) hours (4.5 hours in some cases) of the onset of stroke for a greater chance of recovery. You no longer have to wait for a neurologist on-call for a stroke evaluation, the Neurocall Teleneurology system is state-of-the-art technology that provides the neurological evaluation you need during the critical decision-making period involving stroke treatment. With the help of our clinical staff in the hospital, one of our board certified neurologists available via teleneurology is able to make the timely determination of whether or not the patient should be administered tPA or if procedural intervention is required, allowing our patients to receive the stroke care they need, faster. Learn more about teleneurology at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Internationally-Acclaimed Specialist and Advanced Technology Team Up to ‘Undo’ Stroke Damage

Previously, intravenous acute stroke treatment was only available for patients suffering a stroke from zero to three hours. With the advanced technology available at Holy Cross Hospital’s neurointerventional radiology suite, Laszlo Miskolczi, MD, award-winning Interventional Neuroradiologist, is able to increase the treatment window up to eight hours. This combination of board-certified specialist and cutting-edge technology makes it possible to treat stroke victims who arrive too late for the intravenous therapy.

Patients suffering from a massive occluding blood clot can have their clot identified and removed using the Philips Allura Xper FD20/20. The machine is able to pinpoint the location of a blood clot with exacting precision and then pulled out through a minimally invasive procedure or dissolved by injecting medication directly into the clot.

“There are other benefits with this technology as well,” according to Dr. Miskolczi. “In addition to the increased treatment time window for stroke victims, we can completely reverse the effects of the stroke in 10 to 20% of the cases and those patients can leave the hospital within two to three days. This simply was not possible before when the patient had a large, occlusive clot. In other cases, we can dramatically reduce the effects of the stroke, making them less severe.”

This technology also allows us to conduct minimally invasive procedures to treat a wide range of vascular issues: carotid artery disease, intracranial stenosis and brain aneurysms. These catheter-based procedures present fewer risks and require no head shaving or haircutting, resulting in minimal scarring and shorter recovery time than traditional surgical approaches.

Staying on the Cutting-Edge: Clinical Trials

As a South Florida leader in neurosciences, Holy Cross Hospital offers patients the chance to participate in clinical trials that offer treatments that aren’t yet available to the public. Current areas of focus for these trials include acute ischemic stroke intervention, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, carotid artery narrowing treatment and artificial cervical disc replacement.

From board certified specialists to our internationally renowned interventional neuroradiologist to leading-edge technology and research, it's a winning combination that makes Holy Cross Neuroscience Institute's Comprehensive Stroke Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida the stroke center of choice in Broward County.