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Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

Stroke Care


2018 Get With the Guidelines - Gold Plus - StrokeThe St. Joseph Hospital stroke program is recognized as a certified Primary Stroke Center and is dedicated to providing efficient and compassionate evidence-based stroke care to the people of the Greater Nashua community. Our goal, through collaboration with our multidisciplinary healthcare providers, is to optimize the overall health and physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of patients and their families affected by a stroke, and their families. We will strive to constantly improve our stroke services by partnering with other stroke organizations. We will utilize resources to increase awareness and to prevent, support and promote a healthy lifestyle related to stroke.

When it comes to determining if someone might be experiencing a stroke, it is important to do this simple test. FAST stands for Face, Arms, Speech, and Time. If you think someone may be having a stroke, act FAST!

Act F.A.S.T. 

FACE: Ask the person to smile.
Does one side of the face droop?

ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms.
Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
Are the words slurred? Can they repeat the sentence 

TIME: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is 
important. Call 9-1-1 or get to the hospital fast!

People experiencing a stroke may have symptoms such as:

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

Types of Stroke

1. Ischemic Stroke
An ischemic stroke is when a clot or plaque (fatty deposits) blocks the blood flow and thus oxygen to the brain. There are two types of ischemic stroke:

  • Embolic Ischemic Stroke: This type of stroke is caused when the clot or plaque (fatty deposits) travels through the bloodstream to the brain, cutting off the circulation. The emboli are commonly formed in the main arteries or the heart.
  • Thrombotic Ischemic Stroke: This stroke is typically caused by the buildup of cholesterol, plaque (fatty deposits) or tiny clots. As the buildup increases inside the artery or vessel, blood flow to the brain decreases. This eventually leads to a thrombotic stroke.

2. Hemorrhagic Stroke
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an area of a vessel weakens and eventually bursts. The blood drains into the surrounding tissue and no longer can provide oxygen and nutrients to that area of the brain.

Depending on the area of the brain in which the hemorrhage occurs, the stroke can be known as intracerebral or a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Stroke Specialty Service

The St. Joseph Hospital Stroke Program provides evidence-based primary stroke care including evaluation, treatment, and education to patients who present to St. Joseph Hospital with signs and symptoms of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). 

Stroke Services

 St. Joseph Hospital's certified Primary Stroke Center offers a variety of programs to help aid your stroke rehabilitation. 

Stroke Education