Stroke Care

When a stroke happens, every minute matters. 

The faster you are diagnosed with a stroke and treated, the better the chances for recovery. That's why our stroke experts are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week to provide an immediate response.

Why Choose Us for Stroke Care?

  • We have a multidisciplinary team of stroke experts, including neurologists, neurointensivists, neurosurgeons, cardiologists and rehabilitation therapists. We are ready every day around the clock with rapid response times.
  • Our physicians are internationally recognized as leaders and experts in stroke care, prevention and research. Our stroke team pioneered endovascular approaches using state-of-the-art devices for procedures such as embolectomies (surgical removal of blood clots).
  • UC San Diego Health is ranked among the top 25 in the nation for neurology & neurosurgery by U.S. News and World Report.
  • We have a dedicated neurointensive care unit for complex stroke patients.
  • We have a complete sub-specialty of neurovascular and endovascular surgeons for treating aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and other causes of hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Our team can restore blood flow to the brain with leading-edge catheter devices for blockages of major brain arteries in the most severe strokes.
  • We use highly advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies to provide tailored therapy for each patient, such as transcranial doppler ultrasound.
  • We exceed intravenous tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) administration rates in all eligible patients.
  • We conduct ongoing clinical trials to improve and advance stroke treatment and prevention.

Comprehensive Stroke Center

Patients with a brain hemorrhage or stroke have better outcomes with fewer complications at a Comprehensive Stroke Center than at other hospitals.

Our stroke center at Hillcrest Medical Center was one of the nation's first five certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers. Our Jacobs Medical Center facility in La Jolla also has the Comprehensive Stroke Center designation, making UC San Diego the only health system in the county with two sites for comprehensive stroke care. 

A Comprehensive Stroke Center is a hospital that has specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases. The certification — awarded by The Joint Commission — recognizes UC San Diego's commitment to providing and developing the highest quality stroke care.

We also have earned the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award by the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association and are listed on their Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll.

Learn About Our Stroke Care Quality


Types of Stroke

There are three types of stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke: This is caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain. It requires emergency treatment and also close follow-up care to prevent another stroke.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke: This occurs when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain.
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA): This is a temporary stroke or an early warning that a stroke is coming.

More About Stroke Treatment

Stroke Warning Signs

  • Sudden onset of weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden speech difficulty or confusion
  • Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden onset of dizziness, trouble walking or loss of balance
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Warning Signs

If you experience any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately and the ambulance will take you to the nearest emergency room.

Stroke Center Locations