Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center

Stroke is the No. 1 cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. A stroke, or brain attack, occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked (by a blood clot) or bursts.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, call 911 immediately. The quicker treatment begins, the better your chances are for survival and full recuperation. New clot-busting drugs can help reduce disability, but they must be given within a few hours of the onset of symptoms.

The highly trained stroke specialists at the UC Irvine Health Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center are skilled in endovascular clot removal, surgical intervention and dedicated neuro-intensive care, all of which can increase survival and reduce disability.

At UC Irvine Medical Center, Orange County's first Joint Commission-certified comprehensive stroke center, we set the highest standards for providing the best and rapid treatment for patients with acute stroke and complex cerebrovascular diseases, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Call us at 866-STROKE-3 or 866-787-6533. 

Warning signs of a stroke include:

  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

View stroke prevention tips and treatment guidelines ›

UC Irvine Health Comprehensive Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center delivers comprehensive care for patients with acute and complex stroke that go beyond the scope of care provided by other hospitals in Orange County. In addition, our experts conduct translational research and clinical trials, searching for novel therapies to promote brain healing and recovery.

Board-certified specialists

We have more board-certified stroke specialists than any other hospital in the Orange County.

Our highly trained team includes stroke neurologists, neuro-interventional radiologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-intensive care specialists, rehabilitation physicians and other professionals at UC Irvine Medical Center, which is Orange County's only university hospital.

Our team members work in concert to ensure that our patients receive the finest, most compassionate care.

Comprehensive stroke center

The UC Irvine Health Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center is the first in Orange County and among the first in the nation, to earn national certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission in 2004. This certification, by the leading standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare, lets emergency responders know which area hospitals are best equipped to diagnose and treat stroke patients in the critical minutes and hours after the onset of symptoms.

In August, 2013, our stroke center became the first in Orange County to receive the commission's highest level of certification, as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. It is a designation reserved for those hospitals with the demonstrated ability to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases and meet the highest national standards for safety and quality of care in the treatment of patients who are suffering ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, and transient ischemic attacks.

Stroke receiving center

The Orange County Health Care Agency has designated UC Irvine Medical Center as a regional Stroke-Neurology Receiving Center, which indicates to paramedics and ambulance drivers that the stroke center provides the highest of neurovascular care.

Not all hospitals have the resources or personnel to effectively treat a stroke. The county requires that a Stroke-Neurology Receiving Center have a dedicated medical director, an emergency medicine physician on-site at all times, and a neurologist, neurosurgeon and radiologist always on call.

In addition, the center has 24-hour access to a neuro-interventional radiologist who can extract a stroke-inducing blood clot by inserting a catheter into the arteries supplying a patient's brain, if necessary.

Clot-busting drugs

Another advance in stroke treatment is the drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), which breaks up clots. However, it must be administered within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms to prevent permanent brain damage. Yet only about 3 percent of U.S. stroke patients reach a hospital quickly enough to be considered for this treatment.

The Stroke-Neurology Receiving Center system is committed to improving those numbers.

The UC Irvine Health Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center is one of the few nationally certified medical facilities in Southern California to offer interventional neuroradiology treatments for stroke and cerebrovascular conditions.

With this minimally invasive technique, our physicians use a micro-catheter to deliver clot-dissolving drugs, perform clot removal or administer other treatments to the tiny damaged vessels in the brain.

Our team provides:

  • Multidisciplinary stroke care from the moment a patient enters the emergency room
  • Rapid interpretation of brain scans in the emergency department
  • Around-the-clock support by neurologists, neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists and other experts
  • Stroke-reversing treatments, including clot-dissolving drugs and clot-retrieval procedures
  • A neuro-intensive care unit
  • Written protocols for quality patient care and ongoing performance improvement
  • Clinical research on acute therapy, long-term recovery, stroke prevention and brain repair

The UC Irvine Health Comprehensive Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center's stroke team combines experts across a wide range of disciplines who work together to determine the best treatment plan for each patient and provide thorough follow-up to ensure continuous care.

Our expert clinical team includes:

Vascular Neurologists


Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeons



The stroke program manager is Dana Stradling, MSN, CNRN.

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