Ischemic stroke patients presenting to acute care hospitals require an organized response from multiple disciplines and clinical areas. Patients presenting within 6 hours of stroke onset constitute a category of stroke patient known as the “hyperacute stroke patient.” This category of stroke patients is eligible for treatment using intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator when treated within 3 hours, or interventional treatment options when treated within 6 hours of stroke onset. Guidelines have been established identifying critical elements for hospitals in order to be designated as primary or comprehensive stroke centers. Research studies exploring treatment options for stroke, as well as general care priorities exist in the scientific literature but must be integrated into hospital-based protocols. Recommended interventions are highlighted to assist critical care practitioners in the delivery of care for stroke patients. Coordinated teams using an evidence-based approach can optimize the outcomes of the stroke patient population.

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