Stroke Unit (Acute)

How we can help you

Our Acute Stroke Unit provides care to patients who are being treated and/or investigated for an acute stroke or transient ischaemic attack.

We also have an Acute Stroke emergency response team who work with Emergency Department staff to lead all Acute Stroke calls.  They also visit patients in hospital who show any signs of neurological deterioration and potential stroke. 

We use the latest medical techniques to remove or dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow to the brain. 

We also use a variety of medical imaging techniques to diagnose, treat or prevent strokes. These can include scans of your brain and heart. 

The Acute Stroke Unit is one of our Neurology Services.


A stroke is a serious medical emergency that occurs when there is a decrease in the blood supply to your brain and seriously affects its function. Urgent medical attention is required to prevent permanent damage or possibly death.

Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

A TIA is when the blood supply to your brain is only temporarily blocked. The signs are the same as a stroke but only last for a few minutes. A TIA is a warning sign that you may have a stroke. 

If you are worried that you, or your family/friend is having a stroke or TIA, dial 000 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

You can find the signs and symptoms for stroke or TIA in this Stroke Foundation information.

A range of health professionals will work together to manage your medical treatment, physical and cognitive recovery. We aim to be as collaborative, professional, informative, compassionate and supportive as possible.

Medical Specialists

Professor Alessandro Zagami (Stroke Medical Director)

Professor James Colebatch (Head of Neurology)

Professor Kenneth Butcher (Director Clinical Neuroscience)

Professor Arun Krishnan

Dr Ross Mellick

Dr William Huynh

Dr Shaun Watson

Dr Hanka Laue-Gizzi

Dr Christian Zentner

Professor Paul Spira

Medical Team

Advanced Trainee

Medical Registrar

Junior Medical Officers

Nursing Team

Nursing Unit Manager: Karen Van Cuylenberg

Nurse Practitioner: Alanah Bailey

Our nursing team includes a clinical nurse educator, clinical nurse specialists, registered nursing staff and endorsed enrolled nursing staff

Allied Health

Our Speech Pathologist can help you with your ability to speak and to eat and drink safely after a stroke.

Our Physiotherapist will develop an exercise program designed to maximise your strength, balance and mobility.

Our Occupational Therapist will help you to adjust to life after stroke by giving you the confidence and skills to perform daily tasks and learn new skills.  They will also organise any equipment you might need for when you go home.

Our Dietitian will help you make changes to your diet to help with any difficulty you might have with eating or drinking.

Our Social Worker will meet with you and your carer/family as soon as possible after the stroke occurs to provide advice on what financial, social and health care support is available.  They are also available to provide counselling and emotional support. They can assist with organising accommodation and care for when you leave hospital. 

Our Pharmacist will explain what medicines you need to take and when.