A stroke is a medical emergency where minutes matter. If you or a loved one shows signs of a stroke, the Penn State Stroke Center team is ready with evaluation and treatment.
We can help
If you think you’re having a stroke, call 911.
- Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
- Groups, Classes & Support
- Research & Clinical Trials
- Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook
Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
When someone suffers a stroke, our team of specialists work quickly and expertly to help. Here are some of the latest clot-busting treatments that are delivered by catheter (a thin tube put inside the body). We offer these treatments around-the-clock at Penn State Stroke Center:
- Solitaire FR Device
- Trevo Retrieval Device
- Penumbra Stroke System
Penn State Stroke Center has highest-level certification
There are two types of certification for stroke centers in the United States: Primary and Comprehensive. Although there are many Primary Stroke Centers, there aren’t as many Comprehensive Stroke Centers. Penn State Health is one of seven health care facilities in Pennsylvania, and the only one in central Pennsylvania, to achieve status as a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. Learn more.
If you or a loved one suffers a stroke or other brain condition, the Penn State Stroke Center team will provide comprehensive, expert care. We carefully assess the event to make sure you have the right diagnosis and treatment - all with the goal of helping you return to normal living as soon as possible. Conditions we treat include:
- Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs) of the Brain and Spinal Cord
- Arteriovenous Fistula
- Brain (Cerebral) Aneurysms
- Carotid Artery Disease
- Carotid Cavernous Fistula
- Cavernous Malformations
- Cerebrovascular Disease
- Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke
- Headaches (often vascular)
- Moyamoya Disease
- Occlusive Cerebrovascular Disease
- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
- Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs)
- Vascular Dementia
Treatments and procedures
Our team of specialists offers these expert treatments and interventions for patients:
- Carotid Endarterectomy
- Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting
- Clot Retrieval - Solitaire FR Device
- Endovascular Embolization
- Endovascular Aneurysm Surgery (Endovascular Coiling)
- Gamma Knife
- Intracranial Angioplasty
- Microsurgical Aneurysm Clipping
- Microsurgical Excision of AVM
- Onyx HD
What is TeleStroke/LionNet?
The Penn State Hershey TeleStroke program, which is called LionNet, is a partnership between regional community hospitals and Penn State Hershey.
How does it work?
LionNet is a way for our partner emergency departments to consult with a Penn State Hershey stroke expert without actually transporting the patient to our hospital.
When a patient who may be having a stroke is brought to a partner emergency department, the department doctor calls LionNet and is connected to our stroke expert using an advanced computer system and webcam.
Our Penn State Hershey doctors can examine the patient, review scans, and speak to the patient and family in real-time. Our expert then recommends treatment, and the local emergency department doctor decides on the best action to take.
How does LionNet help the patient?
- Saving time can help save the brain.
- Faster treatment can lead to better recovery.
- Treatment can be provided on the spot, which cuts down on travel to another hospital.
Groups, Classes & Support
Stroke support group
This group provides monthly programs of interest to stroke survivors and their caregivers as well as an opportunity for support and socialization. Sessions are held the second Wednesday of each month, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital.
Registration is not required and there is not a fee to attend.
For additional information, please contact the Penn State Stroke Center at 717-531-7875.
Facilitator: Kathy Morrison, MSN, RN, CNRN
Research & Clinical Trials
We have an active clinical science research program, and we frequently seek volunteers to participate in clinical trials. These studies help our scientists improve diagnostic techniques, develop better treatments, and collaborate with other researchers.
To see all clinical trials and learn how to volunteer, visit StudyFinder
Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook
Symptoms of a stroke
Symptoms of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is affected and which functions of the body are controlled by that part of the brain.
Warning signs of a stroke
If you have any of the following symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm and leg on one side of the body
- Sudden loss of vision or dimmed vision, mainly in one eye
- Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech
- Sudden, severe headaches with no apparent cause
- Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness, or sudden falls, especially if they happen along with any of the other symptoms
Women are more likely to report symptoms of stroke that aren’t typical, especially mental changes.
Diagnosing a stroke
It’s important to get treatment for stroke at a hospital within the first three hours after stroke symptoms appear. At the hospital, a health care provider will diagnose you and guide you toward the treatment or therapies that will work best for you.
What to expect
The doctor will do a complete neurological exam and run a number of tests, such as:
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiogram (records the electrical activity of the heart)
- A test to measure how severe the stroke is
Your doctor may also use imaging tests to show what caused the stroke and to pinpoint blockages or show malformations (something formed in the brain that isn’t normal). These methods include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
We can help
If you think you’re having a stroke, call 911.