Stroke Care


Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has proven expertise in caring for people who have had a stroke has earned us special advanced certification from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center since 2007.

The Stroke program at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center aims to create a high quality, evidence-based environment so that the specialized needs of our stoke patients may be addressed.

Stroke Care Awards Badges


  • Award-Winning Care: 
    • Santa Clara Valley Medical Hospital has received the American Heart Association’s Stroke SILVER PLUS Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Achievement Award. This recognition supports that Santa Clara Valley Medical Hospital is meeting quality measures and applying the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines to improve patient care and outcomes in the community we serve. 
    • U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, has named Santa Clara Valley Medical Hospital as a 2022-2023 High Performing hospital for Stroke. This is the highest award a hospital can earn for U.S. News’ Best Hospitals Procedures & Conditions ratings.
  • Experienced Team of Experts:
    • Neurologist
    • Nurses
    • Radiologist
    • Neurosurgeons
    • Vascular Surgeons
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Physical Therapists
    • Physical Therapist Assistants
    • Speech/Language Pathologist
    • Case Managers and Social Workers
  • Innovative diagnosis and treatment: Our special team provides rapid diagnosis and treatment for stroke patients, designated areas in the hospital with especially trained staff to care for patients who have experienced a stroke, and integrated services from several departments throughout our hospital.


Stroke is a medical emergency which requires rapid identification. Stroke recognition is key in the delivery of timed interventions available. You can recognize when someone is having a stroke by remembering the warning signs of stroke which include:

A simple way to remember the warning signs of a stroke is the acronym BEFAST.

Call 911 for SUDDEN onset of:

  • BALANCE: Sudden loss of balance or difficulty walking.
  • EYESSudden trouble seeing, double vision or vision change in one or both eyes
  • FACESudden facial droop, loss of movement, numbness or tingling on one side of the face
  • ARMSudden weakness, numbness or tingling in one arm or leg
  • SPEECH: Sudden difficulty speaking, slurred speech or confusion
  • TERRIBLE HEADACHESudden severe headache with no known cause


BEFAST - Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

BEFAST Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

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A stroke occurs when circulation of blood and nutrients to the brain fails. There are two basic categories of stroke: ischemic stroke which is caused by a blockage of blood flow and hemorrhagic stroke which is caused by bleeding in or around the brain.

Some people have stroke symptoms that last only for a short time and then go away on their own. This is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA is a sign that you have a serious medical problem, that is likely to progress to a stroke in the future. Anyone experiencing signs of a stroke or detect warning signs of a stroke in someone else, should call 9-1-1 immediately.


Stroke is a medical emergency which also requires rapid evaluation, diagnostics, and treatment.

  • Call 911 for rapid evaluation and transport to a stroke center immediately.
  • Upon arrival to our hospital, you can expect our Stroke Care Team to:
    • Review your medical history
    • Perform a physical exam
    • Order a computed tomography (CT) scan to differentiate between ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke as well as laboratory work
    • Administer intravenous thrombolytic (a clot-busting) drug for a blockage of blood flow due to a blood clot in the brain.


For information about our stroke care or support services, contact (408) 885-2874.

For information on our Stroke Support Group, contact (408) 885-2397.