It's easy to take for granted the most basic human skills until they are compromised.

Think of the host of skills and abilities you've fine-tuned over your lifetime: walking, eating, writing, typing, speaking, reading. These are things we do every day with minimal effort - they feel like second nature.

And yet in an instant, they can disappear. That's what happens when you have a stroke: the mind and body you've trained over the course of a lifetime suddenly don't respond the way they should. This change occurs because blood flow to an area of the brain is disrupted by a blood clot blocking an artery or by a blood vessel that has burst.

Suddenly you're confused. Your vision is foggy. Your face and arms are drooping. You want to yell for help, but the words don't come out right.

When these common signals of stroke appear, time is critical. It is imperative to call 911 and get to the hospital, because the most effective treatments for 80 percent of strokes must be administered within a few hours of the onset of symptoms.

If you have survived a stroke, you're not alone. More than six million people in the U.S. today have survived a stroke - and two-thirds of them are disabled.

Stoke is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of serious long-term disability.

But there is hope. Here, we can help you or your loved one with what comes next. Texas Health hospitals offer inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to help patients strengthen, heal and restore functional ability at home, in the community and at work.

We can also help you find the doctor who's right for you and provide information that can help you prevent a future stroke by making some lifestyle changes like quitting smoking.

Pursuit of Excellence

Texas Health hospitals are committed to providing high-quality, evidence-based care to patients suffering from strokes. Several of our hospitals are stroke centers accredited by The Joint Commission, the country's top nonprofit agency for hospital accreditations. Certification as a stroke center allows hospitals like Texas Health Dallas to participate in the Dallas Area Stroke Network, which sends stroke patients to hospitals that have met the commission's high standards for stroke care.

To earn this disease-specific certification in stroke, hospitals must pass the initial site survey and submit specific quality measures to The Joint Commission on a regular basis. A repeat on-site review is required every two years. The distinction recognizes the level of care provided to stroke patients at the hospital and the program's commitment to quality improvement. The Joint Commission's review also looks at the level of stroke education provided to clinical staff who potentially care for stroke patients. It also reviews physician education records and conducts both patient and staff interviews.

The certification is a reflection of Texas Health's commitment to having a robust neuroscience program aimed at treating neurological diseases and conditions that afflict people in North Texas and throughout the region.

Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of our hospitals offer every accreditation and every treatment and diagnostic technology highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and vascular services at the Texas Health hospital in your area.

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