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UF Health Jacksonville Home

A stroke is the loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the brain’s blood supply. It causes an incredible 2 million neurons to die every minute. That’s why time is so critical after someone has a stroke.

Since every second counts, the UF Health Comprehensive Stroke Program team can mobilize around the clock to diagnose and stabilize stroke patients, minimizing the risk of permanent disability and preserving quality of life.

How common are strokes?

In the United States, about 800,000 people suffer from strokes every year, and nearly a quarter of strokes occur in people who have had one before. It is the leading cause of acquired physical disability in American adults, and the fourth leading cause of death. Northeast Florida is on the southeastern edge of a region referred to as the “Stroke Belt,” where strokes are most common in the U.S.

A stroke can be caused by ischemia, which is the lack of blood flow commonly due to a clot, or a hemorrhage from burst or bleeding blood vessels in or around the brain. Maintaining control over high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol — and keeping them under control — will greatly reduce your chances of having a stroke. Smoking is also a risk factor.

What are the warning signs of a stroke?

UF Health neurologists and nurses discuss signs and symptoms that indicate someone may be suffering a stroke, and what to do if one occurs.

Some signs someone is having a stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or difficulty understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. If you experience any of these signs, call 911.

Steve Rhyne, a middle-aged Jacksonville man, never expected to have an acute ischemic stroke. But when he did, he was fortunate to be rushed to the hospital quickly enough to receive the “clot buster” drug, IV-tPA, at the UF Health Comprehensive Stroke Center in Jacksonville, Florida. The stroke survivor shares his personal story.

Stroke: Why choose UF Health Jacksonville?

The UF Health Comprehensive Stroke Program provides inpatient and outpatient services for the diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of stroke patients. Such integrated and sophisticated care is important because research shows that patients improve faster and recover more completely when managed in a dedicated stroke facility.

Our program has received accreditation from the Agency for Health Care Administration as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Our approach features state-of-the-art methods for the treatment of stroke, such as the clot-busting drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) and interventional procedures. An interdisciplinary team of University of Florida physicians and specially trained UF Health Jacksonville staff includes experts in neurology, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, neuroradiology, emergency medicine, medical intensive care and rehabilitation services. The program also encompasses educational and support group programs for stroke patients.

UF Health Jacksonville's air transport saves lives

UF Health Jacksonville was among the first hospitals in the nation to use an air emergency service to transport stroke patients. Prompt transport by TraumaOne helicopter to the UF Health Jacksonville Comprehensive Stroke Program can improve a patient's outcome by decreasing medical complications and lowering the risks of mortality. Stroke patients in Duval County and 12 surrounding counties (including Baker, Bradford, Clay, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Union, Camden and Chariton), as well as Camden County, Georgia, benefit from this rapid transport service.

Related conditions & treatments

Illustration of a brain

High Performing in Stroke Care

In 2023, U.S. News & World Report recognized UF Health in Jacksonville as high performing in the care of patients with stroke.

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Community and Patient Programs: Stroke

Our community and patient programs provide great value to patients, families and loved ones. People can find support, educational materials, expert consultants and more. In most instances, these programs are offered free of charge.

  • Tai Chi for Neurology Patients

    Tai chi classes for patients and caregivers with neurologic conditions such as Parkinson's, stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and neuropathy.

  • Yoga for Neurology Patients

    Yoga classes for patients and caregivers with neurology conditions such as Parkinson's, stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and neuropathy.

News and Patient Stories: Stroke

Phyllis Sohn Endowed Chair advances neurology research on Jacksonville campus

April 27, 2023

Ramon Bautista, MD, MBA, professor and chair of the department of neurology at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, has been named the Phyllis Sohn Endowed Chair in Neuroscience. The $2.6 million endowment supports…

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From A-fib patient to cardio employee

Theodore Rogers was on track to become a registered nurse in 2017. While a student at Florida State College at Jacksonville, everything was falling into place for Rogers until he started to notice he wasn’t feeling like his usual self.…

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