Recommendations for the Establishment of Stroke Systems of Care: A 2019 Update

Stroke. 2019 Jul;50(7):e187-e210. doi: 10.1161/STR.0000000000000173. Epub 2019 May 20.


In 2005, the American Stroke Association published recommendations for the establishment of stroke systems of care and in 2013 expanded on them with a statement on interactions within stroke systems of care. The aim of this policy statement is to provide a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence evaluating stroke systems of care to date and to update the American Stroke Association recommendations on the basis of improvements in stroke systems of care. Over the past decade, stroke systems of care have seen vast improvements in endovascular therapy, neurocritical care, and stroke center certification, in addition to the advent of innovations, such as telestroke and mobile stroke units, in the context of significant changes in the organization of healthcare policy in the United States. This statement provides an update to prior publications to help guide policymakers and public healthcare agencies in continually updating their stroke systems of care in light of these changes. This statement and its recommendations span primordial and primary prevention, acute stroke recognition and activation of emergency medical services, triage to appropriate facilities, designation of and treatment at stroke centers, secondary prevention at hospital discharge, and rehabilitation and recovery.

Keywords: AHA Scientific Statements; brain; neurology; primary prevention; secondary prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Certification*
  • Emergency Medical Services* / methods
  • Emergency Medical Services* / organization & administration
  • Emergency Medical Services* / standards
  • Humans
  • Organizational Policy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Societies, Medical
  • Stroke* / diagnosis
  • Stroke* / physiopathology
  • Stroke* / therapy
  • United States