Stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted by blockage in the blood vessels or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. The vessels deliver oxygen and nutrients to the brain, and even a short interruption can cause problems.
According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in America and can lead to long-term disability. Problems that can arise include weakness in an arm or leg after a small stroke to paralysis and loss of speech in larger strokes.
Don't Wait! Stroke is Treatable if Caught Early
There are certain signs to watch for when a person may have experienced a stroke.
These can include numbness in the face, arms, or legs, often on one side of the body, episodes of dizziness, loss of vision in one or both eyes, difficulty speaking and a sudden and severe headache.
Treatments are specific and vary depending upon certain circumstances. The severity depends on how fast you receive treatment. If you think you or someone around you may be experiencing these symptoms, don't wait — call 911.
- F= FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- A= ARMS: Ask the person to hold up both arms. Does one drift downward?
- S=SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "Dick and Jane went on a picnic." Are the words slurred? Does the person repeat the phrase correctly?
- T=TIME: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is very important. Call 911immediately and get to the hospital fast.
Types of Strokes
Ischemic strokes are the most common. They occur when an artery is blocked and blood flow to the brain is stopped and are caused by build-ups of fatty deposits on the inside of an artery wall which then becomes completely clogged. Some ischemic strokes are preceded by stroke-like symptoms called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). These may occur months before the stroke. The loss of vision in a TIA may be described as a feeling that a shade is being pulled down over your eyes. The symptoms are usually temporary and improve within 10 to 20 minutes.
These occur when an artery inside the brain ruptures or when an aneurysm at the base of the brain bursts. Twenty percent of all strokes suffered are hemorrhagic strokes. Symptoms more specific to this type of stroke include headache, nausea and vomiting, neck stiffness, seizures, sudden changes in mental state and lethargy. Hemorrhagic strokes usually occur in the daytime and during physical activity. The symptoms typically begin very suddenly and evolve over several hours.
Advanced Primary Stroke Center
Centennial Hills Hospital has been certified as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The Joint Commissions Certificate of Distinction for Advanced Primary Stroke Centers recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care. To achieve certification for one year, stroke centers must demonstrate that it complies with standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measurement activities. To maintain certification, a stroke center must attest to continued compliance with standards and evidence of performance measurement and improvement activities each year, pass an on-site review conducted every two years by The Joint Commission, and complete a bi-annual submission of an acceptable assessment of compliance by the organization.