Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells begin to die. If the blood supply is not restored, the affected part of the brain dies, causing disability or death.

YOU can do something about some of the factors that could increase your risk of having a stroke including obesity, diet, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

Help prevent a stroke by learning more about the risk factors you can do something about and those you can't control. Learn more about stroke prevention: www.heartandstroke.com.

Ontario Stroke System: 

In 2000, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario to establish the Ontario Stroke System. By 2008, this evolved with the creation of the Ontario Stroke Network - a non-profit organization funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The vision of the Ontario Stroke Network is "Fewer Strokes - Better Outcomes" and is dedicated to advancing the Ontario Stroke System.

The Ontario Stroke Network (OSN) provides provincial leadership and coordination for the Ontario's 11 Regional Stroke Networks that support the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (Ontario Stroke System) by recommending, implementing and evaluating province-wide goals and standards for the continuum of stroke care, including health promotion and stroke prevention, acute care, recovery and reintegration.

By working closely with regional experts, the Ontario Stroke Network advances the Ontario Stroke System by positively impacting the following provincial statistics:

  • Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death
  • The risk of stroke doubles every 10 years for those aged 55 or older
  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and patient transfer from hospital to long-term care facilities
  • Twelve percent of stroke patients die within 30 days of suffering a stroke, while 22 percent die within the year
  • Strokes account for 20,000 emergency department visits and 15,350 inpatient hospital admissions
  • Fifty-five percent of stroke patients are discharged home from the hospital
  • Twenty-three percent of stroke patients are discharged to rehabilitation facilities
  • There is significant variation in stroke care across the province


As of April 1, 2016, the Ontario Stroke Network (OSN) and Cardiac Care Network (CCN) have come together as a single entity to ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach to cardiac, vascular and stroke care in Ontario. Click the heart icon above to read the latest news from OSN and CCN. 

District Stroke Centre:

IMG_2347.JPGBrantford General Hospital received designation as a District Stroke Centre in 2004. Today, BGH operates as the District Stroke Centre for the Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk geographical region. This designation is maintained through ongoing implementation and delivery of best practice evidence-based stroke care. In 2013, BGH opened an Integrated Stroke Unit (ISU) to better serve the needs of patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of stroke or mini-stroke, also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Research has proven that early access to a stroke unit saves lives and improves outcomes after stroke.
A Stroke Unit is a specialized hospital unit with interprofessional teams of care providers who have advanced knowledge, training and expertise in stroke care. The teams on BGH's Integrated Stroke Unit are comprised of nurses, speech language pathologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, occupational and physical therapy assistants, personal support workers, physicians, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, unit clerks, volunteers and a stroke navigator all dedicated to supporting stroke survivors on their road to recovery.
Persons with stroke are admitted to BGH's Integrated Stroke Unit from the geographical region of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Stroke Care Passport

t-PA - Tissue Plasminogen Activator - "Clot Buster"

t-PA is a "clot buster" that is used to treat strokes caused by clots. It must be given within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms and is given in the Emergency Department at the Brantford General Hospital - the District Stroke Centre. To receive this medication, you must arrive at the BGH Emergency Department within 3.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Arriving within this time frame does not necessarily mean that t-PA will be given as part of your treatment as specific criteria must be met.

Ambulance Bypass to District Stroke Centre


A key mandate of the Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk District Stroke Strategy is to ensure access to t-PA, the clot busting medication, for all residents living within this geographical region. As such, ambulance personnel working within these communities follow standards and guidelines in transporting persons with signs and symptoms of stroke to the nearest Stroke Centre - the Brantford General Hospital - that can provide this treatment. Persons presented to Norfolk General Hospital and West Haldimand General Hospital will be transported to the Brantford General for assessment and administration of t-PA where indicated and criteria met.

Stroke Rehabilitation

As a District Stroke Centre, the Brantford General Hospital provides a number of options for stroke rehabilitation services.  


For stroke survivors requiring inpatient stroke rehabilitation, patients remain on the Integrated Stroke Unit once the acute part of their stroke recovery is complete. Brantford General is unique in that unlike most stroke centres, Brantford General does not transfer stroke survivors to another hospital unit or facility for inpatient stroke rehabilitation services. Patients requiring inpatient rehabilitation remain on the Stroke Unit at the Brantford General Hospital and begin rehabilitation from the same bed with the same teams of care providers. This provides ample opportunity for therapeutic relationships to develop, trust to be established, and progress toward goals to be celebrated by patients and their families together with a consistent team of healthcare professionals. 

Stroke survivors not requiring inpatient rehabilitation services are able to receive outpatient stroke rehabilitation at the Brantford General Hospital with a dedicated team of outpatient therapy professionals located in close proximity to the Stroke Unit.

Stroke survivors requiring in-home stroke rehabilitation can access our Community Stroke Rehabilitation Services.  Whether you are living in Brant, Haldimand, or Norfolk, a specialized team of stroke rehabilitation professionals provide in-home services.


Contact Information

For more information, please contact:
Venessa Bailey
District Stroke Coordinator
519-751-5544 ext. 5330

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