Friday, May 9, 2014
May is National Stroke Awareness Month. In order to help the community understand the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States, Trident Health is committed to raising awareness about how to recognize when an individual may be having a stroke and what to do if you suspect you or someone else may be having a stroke.
“Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke, as on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke,” said Allison Walters, AVP of Cardiovascular Services at Trident Health. “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.”
Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.
Recognized for its outstanding Stroke care, Trident and Summerville Medical Centers both recently received Get With The Guidelines®- Quality Achievement awards for stroke care. Both hospitals are certified by the Joint Commission as Primary Stroke Centers.
“If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST – F-A-S-T,” said Dr. Thomas Privett Trident Health Stroke Medical Director, “F is for face - is your face drooping? A is for arms – can you lift both arms? S is for speech – are you slurring your words and T is for time, call 9-1-1 immediately because with stroke, time is brain.”
The primary stroke symptoms include:
• Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping
• Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, and 87 percent of these are ischemic strokes. An acute ischemic stroke occurs when an obstruction, such as a blood clot, blocks blood flow to the brain. The obstruction deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, destroying valuable nerve cells in the affected area within minutes. The resulting damage can lead to significant disability including paralysis, speech problems and emotional difficulties.
Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, can also help reduce your stroke risk. For more information about stroke, visit Tridentstrokecare.com.
Trident Health is an HCA hospital system comprised of two acute care hospitals – Trident Medical Center and Summerville Medical Center – as well as Moncks Corner Medical Center. The Joint Commission recently named Trident Health to their list of the nation’s top hospitals for quality and safety. In 2013, Trident Health provided almost $50 million in charity and uncompensated care and contributed over $30 million in taxes. Accredited by The Joint Commission, Trident Health is committed to providing quality health services along with wellness information and opportunities to the communities it serves. For more information about Trident Health, please visit our website at www.tridenthealthsystem.com or call 797-7000.