St. Vincent’s Medical Center was the first hospital designated a Primary Stroke Center by the State of Connecticut, and has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. Learn more. 

We have a proven and ongoing commitment to decrease the number of strokes, to give hope and assistance to those who have suffered stroke, and to help those in our community who have been touched by stroke.

Types of Stroke

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without the oxygen and nutrients that blood supplies, brain cells in the affected area begin to die.
There are three main types of stroke: ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attack (TIA).

  • Ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot blocking or plugging a blood vessel or artery in the brain. About 80% of all strokes are ischemic.

  • Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel in the brain that bursts and bleeds into the brain. About 20% of all strokes are hemorrhagic.

  • A TIA is a "warning stroke", sometimes called a "mini-stroke." TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery in the brain. Symptoms are the same as a stroke, but usually last for only a matter of minutes. TIA's still need immediate medical treatment.

Quick Treatment is Essential

While each type of stroke may have its own characteristics, all strokes require swift, appropriate attention. Immediate treatment can minimize the long-term effects of stroke and even prevent death. From a state-of-the-art Emergency Department to respected neurologists, nurses and support staff, St. Vincent’s stroke teams provide the kind of high-quality care that meets the need for timely and precise intervention.

Stroke is a medical emergency. If you believe you or someone near you is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Risk Factors

By getting to know you as an individual, we help you understand which risk factors for stroke can be controlled (e.g. blood pressure and cholesterol), which ones can’t (family history, gender, and age), and how to reduce your chance of stroke. Learn more.

Signs and Symptoms

If there’s one word that sums up the occurrence of stroke, it’s “sudden”–sudden numbness or weakness, sudden confusion, sudden dizziness, sudden severe headache. And the more time that passes between the sudden onset of stroke and getting treatment, the more brain cells that die. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke: so you can act quickly. Learn more.


Knowing, understanding, and controlling the risk of stroke is your first, best line of defense against it. Learn more.

Services and Treatment

St. Vincent’s Primary Stroke Center of Excellence offers a full range of services, from prevention, to treatment, to rehabilitation, each built around knowing your needs as an individual. Learn more


For anyone with symptoms of stroke, here’s what to expect on arrival at our emergency department