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Upon arriving in the emergency department (ED), suspected stroke patients are sent immediately for a CT scan of the head. The results are obtained from the radiologist within minutes of completion. 

A CT scan is a non-invasive test that combines X-rays and computer scans. A computer combines the images to create views that more easily diagnose problems like stroke. HSHS St. John's Hospital has the latest CT perfusion software to detect a stroke even more quickly.

While the patient is still in the ED, the emergency department physician will make contact with a neurologist who specializes in stroke, a neurosurgeon or a stroke interventionalist based upon the results of the patient’s CT scan. Stroke care decisions are made immediately upon receiving the CT scan images, lab results and the patient’s overall condition.