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Stroke treatment

The University Hospital Zurich offers a comprehensive stroke treatment consisting of:

  • Emergency management including all methods to re-open occluded blood vessels (intra-arterial or intravenous thrombolysis) or to stop bleeding into the brain.
  • Optimization of treatment during the initial days after the stroke to avoid complications and further damage to the brain and to identify the cause of the stroke.
  • Provide optimal measures of secondary prevention to prevent further strokes.

Stroke Team

The foundation of acute stroke treatment is a highly specialized interdisciplinary team consisting of neurologists, nurses and therapists working in a stroke unit. The Department of Neurology has a stroke specialist on call 24 hours 7 days per week (phone: +41 44 255 50 05). Residents work in 3 shifts per day backed by one neurology attending in house and a stroke neurologist physically present during working hours and on telephone call during nights and weekends. The Stroke team is headed by Prof. Dr. A. Luft. PD Dr. Ch. Globas and Dr. S. Wegener are attending doctors for stroke.

The Stroke-Team is responsible for the emergency management and admission of patients with suspected stroke or transient ischemic attack and cares for the patients on the

Stroke Unit. The Stroke-Team collaborates closely with other disciplines, especially neuroradiology, cardiology, neurosurgery and vascular surgery.

Stroke Unit

After an acute cerebrovascular event patients are treated on a specialized ward, the Stroke Unit. This ward with 5 beds (expansion to 8 beds in summer 2013) is located in the Nord 1 building, level C, in close proximity to the neurocritical care unit.

Nursing and therapy staff of the stroke unit is trained and experienced in the treatment of stroke patients. Continuous education ensures a high level of care.


The University Hospital is planning to be certified as a Stroke Center as defined and requested by the initiative for highly specialized medicine (HSM) of the national committee of Swiss cantonal health ministers. The Stroke Center offers comprehensive and interdisciplinary stroke care. It works closely with Stroke Units in regional hospitals, to ensure optimal stroke care for an entire region. The certification is planned for 2013.

Through cooperation with rehabilitation hospitals and the Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation Zurich (ZAR, www.zhw.ch) we can offer a continuum of care after stroke. Experts advise and organize rehabilitation and secondary prevention measures.

Quality assessment

In October 2009 the Stroke Service began to systemically record quality assessment data from all patients admitted with suspected stroke of transient ischemic attack. The numbers of patient contacts, thrombolysis parameters including timing and the recovery during the stay at the University Hospital are registered. In addition, the project ZORRO (Zurich Observational Registry for Rehabilitation Outcomes) follows patients with hemiparesis who consent to this study, over a period of 5 years. The ZORRO-Projekt is exemplary for the kind of continuous stroke care in which one team of physicians and therapists follow and accompany the patient through the difficult stages after a stroke. This organization offers a competent and direct partner for all aspects of post-stroke care.

In 2012 the Stroke Service was peer-reviewed by the Initiative Qualitätsmedizin (IQM, http://www.initiative-qualitaetsmedizin.de).

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