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Stroke Program

When it comes to a stroke, nothing is more important than time. A rapid response from skilled specialists can make all the difference. The Primary Stroke Center at Kalispell Regional Healthcare, has a multidisciplinary team committed to providing high-quality, evidence-based treatment of stroke 24/7.

What is stroke?

A stroke can happen when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. When this occurs, the brain cells in the affected area start to die. There are two different types of strokes:
Ischemic stroke:  Is caused by the blockage of a blood vessel in the brain.  This is the more common type of stroke.
Hemorrhagic stroke: Is caused by a blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain.  This is a less common type of stroke.
 
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), also known as “mini strokes”, occur when the blood supply to the brain is briefly interrupted.  Individuals suffering a TIA have a 25 percent chance of heart attack or stroke within 90 days.
 
Stroke or TIA is a medical emergency, dial 911!  

Signs and symptoms of a stroke

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the body, especially on one side
  • Sudden vision changes in one or both eyes
  • Sudden severe headache with unknown cause
  • Sudden dizziness, difficulty walking or imbalance
  • Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding others

FAST is an easy way to identify a possible stroke



Risk Factors:
  1. High Blood Pressure- #1 cause of stroke
  2. Smoking
  3. Atrial Fibrillation
  4. Diabetes
  5. Physical Inactivity
  6. Overweight/Obesity
  7. High cholesterol
  8. Unhealthy diet

Treatment and Services

While stroke is the leading cause of long term disability, treatment can lower the risk of lasting damage.
Depending on the type of stroke, your treatment may include:
  • Stroke prevention: We work with you to manage modifiable risk factors such as carotid artery disease, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, and other lifestyle changes to prevent future strokes.
  • Clot-busting medication: Alteplase, or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is a medicine that breaks up blood clots and improves blood flow to the brain.
  • Neurosurgery: We offer complex neurosurgical treatments for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Transfer- If you are a candidate for mechanical thrombectomy or aneurysm repair, transfer to an out of state hospital may be needed.
  • Stroke Rehabilitation- Kalispell Regional Healthcare offers intensive inpatient rehabilitation program right here in Kalispell.
  • A.L.E.R.T.: Critical care flight and emergency rescue services.

Western Montana Telestroke Network

We want you to get the best care no matter where you live in the region. Telestroke is our telemedicine service. It virtually connects health care providers in rural locations throughout Montana with Kalispell Regional Healthcare neurologists.

Telestroke ensures you get prompt access to lifesaving care close to home, which can lessen the damage caused by a stroke. Our specialists use videoconferencing to quickly determine treatment needs.

Stroke Support Group and Resources

The purpose of the Flathead Valley Stroke Support Group is to connect stroke survivors and their families with educational tools and resources and to foster support, learning and healing. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

The group meets the last Wednesday of every month, noon to 1 p.m., in the Lupine Room at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. For more information, call (406) 751-7165 or email daniwalker@krmc.org.

Other Resources:

Stroke.org: A division of the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association (ASA) offers the latest news, resources and education on stroke.

Stroke Connection Magazine: A free, digital only magazine for stroke survivors and their families, published four times a year.

Stroke Family Warmline: 1-888-4-STROKE (ask for the Warmline); The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with a team member who can provide support, or just a listening ear.

Brain Attack Coalition

Montana Stroke Initiative

Our Commitment to Your Care

Stroke care can begin before reaching the hospital, often when friends or family recognize the signs of stroke and alert emergency medical services (EMS).  It’s important to remember that stroke is largely treatable.  It’s a matter of getting the right treatment right away.  The faster stroke is treated, the more likely the stroke patient is to recover.  Kalispell Regional Medical Center is committed to the care of stroke patients and holds an Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality and achievement.