Prompt diagnostics and treatment critical for stroke patients

Hallmark Health’s Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital are designated Primary Stroke Service hospitals by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The designation requires hospitals to follow very specific protocols for patient assessment and care and commit to continuous education of the public about warning signs and symptoms of stroke. Our hospitals provide emergency diagnostic and therapeutic services by a multidisciplinary team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to patients with symptoms of acute stroke.

Hallmark Health continues to participate in the Stroke Collaborative Reaching for Excellence Program (SCORE) under the auspices of the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Few conditions can occur as rapidly and with as devastating consequences as stroke. Data from the American Stroke Association indicate that more than 700,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke each year. Of these, about 500,000 are first attacks and 100,000 are recurrent attacks. Yet about 4.5 million stroke survivors are alive today. The innovations of diagnostic technologies, advanced treatment techniques and improved management of stroke risk factors have created new hope for persons who have had a stroke or who are at risk of having a stroke.

How we can help

Our hospitals are dedicated to preventing, diagnosing and treating strokes, offering applications of the latest technology and medications while treating the stroke patient's entire needs. Care is coordinated from the first point of contact with the patient helping to stop the long-term effects of stroke.

Research is showing that treating a subset of patients with clot-busting drugs called thrombolytics may help in the treatment of acute stroke if administered within a three-hour window of the onset of symptoms. The first responders/EMTs know that patients will be evaluated for this potentially life-saving treatment immediately upon arrival in our emergency departments.

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital are designated Primary Stroke Service hospitals by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Take a Health Minute. Learn the signs and symptoms of stroke.


Warning signs of a stroke include:

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Loss of vision or double vision
  • Difficulty speaking or trouble understanding speech
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Unexplained dizziness or imbalance

If you experience symptoms of a stroke, dial 9-1-1.

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