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Stroke Care Quality and Outcomes

Expert Stroke Care Makes A Difference

Joint Commission SealOur Stroke Center earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval in 2004 and became the first primary stroke center in San Diego County.

We were the first medical center in San Diego to achieve The Joint Commission's Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification. This certification reflects our ability to provide the most advanced treatments for the most serious types of strokes. Our primary and comprehensive stroke certifications demonstrate that UC San Diego Health provides the full complement of available services and technologies to meet the needs of stroke patients while complying with national standards that improve patient outcomes.

UC San Diego Health has earned the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award by the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association and is listed on their Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll and Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. These distinctions recognize our commitment to excellence in care for stroke patients and our ability to rapidly provide life-saving cures to patients after a stroke.

Types of Stroke Treated

The chart below compares the percentage of patients treated for each type of stroke at UC San Diego Health and locally in San Diego County. UC San Diego Health treats the most severe stroke cases and cares for a larger share of patients with bleeding in the brain than most other centers in the community.

types of stroke chart

Read more about ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

Advanced Stroke Treatments

Regardless of the type of stroke, our team is ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our specialty-trained experts provide an immediate response when someone having a stroke arrives. Our stroke center specialists are internationally recognized as leaders and experts in the fields of research, diagnosis and care. Read more about our stroke team.

Treating Ischemic Stroke

Discovered at UC San Diego in 1985, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a powerful drug effective in dissolving blood clots that cause ischemic strokes. The drug is usually given through a vein in the arm. To be effective, the drug must be given within three hours, and in selected individuals, within 4.5 hours after a stroke.

The chart below demonstrates a marked improvement of our timely administration of tPA over the years and in staying below the 60 minutes target. We believe that “time is brain!” Read more about how we treat ischemic stroke.

chart of tPA timeframes

Successful Surgical Procedures

UC San Diego Health is a leader in endovascular and surgical treatment of stroke, using specially-designed instruments to remove blood clots and restore blood flow to the brain. Our faculty trains physicians nationally and internationally in these techniques and participates in leading interventional clinical trials.

Beyond the acute treatment of stroke, surgeons at UC San Diego offer:

From October 2020 through December 2021, we performed 203 endovascular coiling or surgical clipping procedures to treat unruptured brain aneurysms, with a 99.6% survival rate. Read more about our Stroke and Neurovascular Surgery Program.

Processes of Care

Regardless of the type of stroke, people who go to UC San Diego receive the right care. We closely monitor compliance with processes of care as endorsed by The Joint Commission and American Heart Association. The chart below shows that we continue to provide consistent care across all measures compared to other hospitals throughout the country.

chart of process of care measures

Stroke Survival

At UC San Diego, the quality of care leads to better than expected survival for all patients with stroke. The chart below demonstrates the excellent survival of our patients for both inpatient ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, compared with expected survival as reported by Vizient.

chart of stroke survival rates