In the United States, stroke is the third leading cause of death, after cardiovascular disease and cancer, disabling more adults than any other condition. Every year, about 700,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke and about 160,000 of them die as a result.

A stroke is a life-threatening event that occurs when part of the brain is not receiving enough oxygen. This may be caused by either a prolonged lack of oxygen-rich blood to the brain (cerebral ischemia) or bleeding into or around the brain (cerebral hemorrhage).

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or becomes blocked. Once a stroke occurs, part of the brain does not receive enough blood and the brain cells die due to the lack of blood. The damage caused by a stroke can result in permanent brain damage or even death. However, damaged brain cells do not die immediately. They can stay alive in a compromised state for several hours, therefore with timely treatment, these cells may be saved.

For many stroke victims, prompt treatment and follow-up care may protect these brain cells and help them lead healthier, more productive lives. To minimize the damage of a stroke, victims must seek treatment immediately. It is vital that treatment be administered within six (6) hours from the onset of a stroke. It is a challenge for medical personnel to treat the patient as quickly as possible to avoid permanent tissue damage or death, while racing against the clock to re-establish blood flow to the brain.

Immediate treatment after the onset of a stroke can result in little visible damage, but a stroke left untreated for too long can result in neurological and tissue damage (such as paralysis or permanent loss of speech) or death.

Seton Family of Hospitals and St. David’s Healthcare System are both comprehensive stroke centers that treat stroke patients from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up care. Our neurointerventional surgeons are members of the Austin acute stroke team. Once a patient has been diagnosed with a stroke that may be treated by a neurointerventional approach, one of our neurointerventional surgeons will meet with the patient or patient’s family to discuss the options available.


Stroke Signs and Symptoms
Types of Strokes
Treatment -Stroke Intervention