John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County is a Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center, nationally recognized for long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients by The American Heart Association and The American Stroke Association.

At Stroger Hospital, a team of board-certified specialists work together to provide expert care for patients who have experienced a stroke.

Our goal is to provide targeted care for our patients to help them recover from the physical and mental effects of a stroke, and to help them live the best and healthiest lives post-treatment.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a sudden attack that occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted and causes a decreased flow of oxygen to the brain.
Strokes happen when a blood clot blocks a brain artery, also called an ischemic stroke, or when a brain artery bursts and causes bleeding in the brain, known as a hemorrhagic stroke. 
Both types of stroke are life-threatening and require immediate, emergency treatment.
If think you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke?

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can be the first step to ensure you or a loved one receives immediate medical care before symptoms worsen.
Common symptoms include:
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech 
  • Sudden numbness or weakness to the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body 
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination 
According to the National Stroke Association, remember to act FAST if someone has these warning signs: 
  • FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

What are the Complications?

After a serious brain injury like as stroke, there may be some temporary or permanent complications.
Because strokes do not affect each person the same, complications of stroke and the resulting treatments can have different results in each person. 
Typically, if a stroke takes place on one side of the brain, the opposite side of the body will be affected. For example, if you had a stroke on your right side of your brain, functions on the left side of the body, like movement or function, could be affected. 
Some complications may be short-term, while others can cause permanent disabilities. Some common complications can include (but are not limited to): 
  • Changes in behaviors or heightened emotions 
  • Changes in social behaviors
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty speaking, reading or writing 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Depression or being withdrawn from friends and family   
  • Memory loss 
  • Loss of balance 
  • Pain or numbness 
  • Paralysis or loss of movement 
  • Sensitivity to temperature 
  • Vision loss 

Stroke Facts

  • Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable by working to manage personal risk. 
  • Strokes affect nearly 800,000 people each year and are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
  • More than 95 percent of patients do not seek care until many hours after their stroke occurs, making typical stroke treatments far less effective.
  • Nearly 80 percent of strokes could be avoided with healthy lifestyle decisions.
  • Strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S.

Treatment & Rehabilitation

Strokes require emergency treatment based on the type of stroke you’re experiencing and where it is located within the brain. Most strokes are treated with either medications or surgery. 
Recovering from a stroke takes time after receiving medical treatment and recoveries are different based on each person. Your doctor will work with you and recommend a therapy program, like physical or speech therapy, to help you regain and master any function that might have been impacted. Therapy will typically begin while you’re in the hospital and may continue at a rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility, outpatient clinic or even in your home. 
24/7 Care
Our specialists are always available to provide individualized care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

At Stroger Hospital, we have state-of-the-art technology and equipment on-site to care for our patient’s needs, including CT, MRI and angiography imaging and complete laboratory services.

Preventing Strokes

The easiest way to lower your risk of strokes is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Along with diet and exercise, talk to your doctor about these factors that could increase your risk of stroke: 
  • Ask your doctor if you have atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) 
  • Ask your doctor if you have blood flow problems that increase your stroke risk
  • Avoid drug use 
  • Consume a healthy diet with low-salt and low-fat intake 
  • Control high blood pressure 
  • Control or lower high cholesterol 
  • Drink alcohol in moderation 
  • If you’re a diabetic, follow your doctor’s recommendations to control your diabetes 
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Stop smoking 

Cook County Health Stroke Clinic

Our team of board-certified specialists work together to provide expert care for patients who have experienced a stroke.
Our specialists are experts in neurology, emergency medicine, physical, occupational and speech therapy, pulmonary and critical care medicine, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, radiology, rehabilitation medicine and neuropsychology.

The goal of this multidisciplinary clinic is to prevent future strokes by providing comprehensive secondary stroke prevention. Our clinic has dedicated social workers who screen patients for issues such as food insecurity, tobacco use, depression, lack of transportation and housing, and adequate access to primary care.
Stroke Clinic

John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County

1969 W. Odgen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 864-7293

If think you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Stroke Support Group

We encourage our patients who have had a stroke to take preventive measures to remain healthy.
Learn more about the steps you can take at our stroke support group, a no-cost group available to past and current stroke patients and their families.

To join or find out more about Cook County Health’s Stroke Support Group, please call (312) 864-7293, (312) 864-7760 or (312) 864-7291.

John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Stroke Program Research Studies

At Stroger Hospital, we stay up-to-date on the latest research findings on strokes and stroke care through an active research-based program that gives patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.
Our past projects include:
  • Research into the risks and benefits of aspirin and clopidogrel use (a drug used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients with heart disease, recent stroke or blood circulation disease) for stroke prevention among African-American patients.
  • Clinical studies on the value of vitamin supplementation in stroke prevention.
  • Investigation into the risks and benefits of a diabetic medication in stroke prevention in nondiabetic patients.
  • Studies on the effects of food insecurity on vascular risk factors, such as diabetes and hypertension, in patients who have been diagnosed with a stroke.