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Stroke care

man sitting by a lake

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Strokes happen anywhere.
Certified stroke care happens here.

Stroke care throughout Wisconsin

Each of our hospitals offers acute stroke treatment. 

At Marshfield Clinic Health System, we work closely with first responders and referring hospitals throughout Northern and Central Wisconsin. 

If you are having any of the stroke symptoms listed below, call 911. The moment an EMS responder begins treating you or a loved one with a possible stroke, they notify us. Immediately, our teams prepare for your arrival.​

Symptoms of stroke

A stroke happens when there is a shut off in a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to part of the brain. This is caused by either blockage from a clot or the blood vessel breaking open. When this shut off of blood flow happens, brain cells begin to lose function and eventually die.

Click here to learn more about the types of strokes.

If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 911 immediately. It is important to come in to the hospital immediately when stroke symptoms begin. Every minute your brain goes without oxygen, two million brain cells die.

Signs and symptoms of stroke depend on where in the brain the shut off of blood flow occurs.

There is an easy way to remember stroke signs and symptoms: BE FAST.

Remember to BE FAST if you have the following symptoms:

  • Balance - trouble with balance or uncoordinated movements of the arm, hand or leg
  • Eyesight - trouble with blurred, double or loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Face - facial weakness on one side of the face
  • Arm - arm and/or leg weakness on one side of the body
  • Speech or Sensation - trouble getting out the right words, understanding what someone is saying or not being able to talk at all. Sensation difficulties will occur on one side of the body.
  • Time or terrible headache - call 911 immediately with any of the above symptoms or if you have a sudden severe headache. 911

Stroke symptoms specific to women:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Hiccups
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • General weakness

Stroke and women: Know the signs

Stroke prevention

Eighty percent of strokes are preventable. Our goal is to prevent you from experiencing a stroke. Certain risk factors put you higher at risk of having a stroke. Click on each factor to learn more.

Stroke Treatment

Most strokes are caused by a blockage in a blood vessel going to the brain. The affected area is damaged and its functions are harmed or even lost.

Two treatments are available for stroke related to a blockage from a clot in the blood vessel. The first is a clot-busting medication given through an IV. For this medication, patients need to arrive at the hospital within 4.5 hours.

The second treatment option is called a thrombectomy. A catheter is inserted into a large artery in the upper leg. It is threaded up from that artery to the brain and the site of the clot. This device, as narrow as a few strands of hair, can pull a clot out of the blocked blood vessel.

For the IV clot-busting agent and thrombectomy, the goal is to keep the stroke as small as possible by restoring blood flow quickly.

Specialized stroke services

Each of our hospitals can deliver the clot-busting agent through an IV and 24-hour helicopter access via Life Like III.

However, Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield is the only hospital in our system to offer:

  • Advanced brain imaging and diagnostic testing
  • Specialized diagnostic testing.
  • Advanced treatments in removal of clots or coiling of aneurysms
  • Specialized stroke rehabilitation unit

Video courtesy of Discover Wisconsin.

Ask the expert: Stroke Treatment

Stroke Resources

National Recognitions and Certification

National recognition of Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield means comprehensive stroke care for you.

  • An onsite acute care rehabilitation unit with stroke specialty certification through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission
  • American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Award: Gold Plus (2015-2023) and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus (2020)
Certified Primary Stroke Center - national recognition and certification images 

Marshfield Medical Center-Weston and Marshfield Medical Center- Eau Claire also earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Primary Stroke Certification (2023).

The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Primary Stroke Certification logo 

Marshfield Medical Center- Rice Lake and Marshfield Medical Center -Neillsville have earned The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital (2022).

Miraculous timing: Stroke doesn't stop this patient

A phone call immediately activated a system of care that rapidly moved Julie Guden through an amazing journey of diagnosis, treatment and healing from Phillips to Marshfield Medical Center-Park Falls and ultimately to Marshfield Medical Center-Marshfield, a Certified Primary Stroke Center since 2009.

Watch Julie's story to see how time and a system of care were on her side.