St. Clair checkup

Maxim D. Hammer, MD

A stroke is a serious medical condition that requires emergency care, because every minute a stroke goes untreated, roughly 1.9 million brain cells die—which can lead to long-term disability or even death.

According to Maxim D. Hammer, MD, Chief of Neurology at St. Clair Health, “A stroke is a sudden neurological deficit caused by a vascular problem.” The most common warning signs include a loss of balance, headache or dizziness, as well as blurred vision, face drooping, arm or leg weakness, and speech difficulty.

The clock starts the moment the first symptom appears. So the sooner you recognize the symptoms in yourself or a loved one and call for emergency care, the sooner a stroke can be diagnosed and treatment can begin. And the more quickly treatment begins, the better the outcome will be.

Knowing the odds of surviving a stroke and minimizing lasting complications increase when treatment begins quickly, St. Clair is constantly working to maintain and surpass the highest standards of stroke care. Dr. Hammer explains, “Every decision we make is designed to continuously improve treatment times for patients having a stroke.”

At St. Clair, Dr. Hammer and the St. Clair Medical Group Neurology team are committed to enhancing stroke care to meet the unique needs of each patient. His research background in novel approaches to acute stroke care has inspired new ways to deliver care, including a video-based telestroke program made possible through St. Clair’s clinical collaboration with Mayo Clinic.

“This is a 24/7 service where a Mayo Clinic stroke specialist will be able to provide video consultation to any St. Clair patient at any time, day or night, when an acute stroke is suspected,” says Dr. Hammer. “We’re very excited to collaborate with Mayo Clinic because they’re the model of how stroke care is delivered.”

To contact Dr. Hammer or schedule a consultation, please call 412.942.6300 or visit