When a stroke strikes, every second counts.
Our commitment to that fact helped us earn full certification by the Joint
Commission as a Primary Stroke Center.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Quick
diagnosis and treatment are critical to surviving a stroke. Each year,
about 700,000 people have strokes in America, according to the
American Heart Association. Approximately, 157,000 deaths are attributed to stroke each year. For
those who survive, stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability.
Depending on the severity of the stroke and how quickly it's treated,
brain damage can be permanent or even deadly.
Should a stroke occur, act fast. Warning signs come on suddenly and may include:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side.
- Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Severe headache with no known cause.
If you have any of these signs (even if they improve after a few minutes),
call 911. Do not be reluctant to report your symptoms. Our Emergency Department
works closely with EMT's in preparation for the patient's arrival
at the hospital.
Treatment with a drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can dramatically
lessen the effects of some strokes—but only if it's given within
three hours. The clock starts when the symptoms start, not when you get
to the emergency room. This makes it important to note the time when symptoms begin.
What is a stroke?
Strokes happen when blood is prevented from reaching the brain, usually
by a blood clot or a broken blood vessel. Without adequate blood, brains
cells die. That can cause trouble speaking, paralysis and other problems.
What are the risk factors for stroke?
- Increasing age
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- Tobacco smoke
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Excess weight
- Atrial fibrillation
Risk factors unique to women:
Use of birth control pills. Birth control pills increase the likelihood of blood clots and is compounded
when you smoke.
Pregnancy. Although the risk is small, pregnancy increases a woman's chance of
stroke because, among other things, it raises blood pressure and puts
stress on the heart.
Use of hormone therapy. A combined hormone therapy of progestin and estrogen, sometimes taken
to lessen the physical effects of menopause, raises stroke risk, according to the
National Stroke Association (NSA).
Having a thick waist and a high triglyceride level. Postmenopausal women with a waist size larger than 35.2 inches and a triglyceride
level higher than 128 milligrams per deciliter may have a fivefold increased
risk for stroke, reports the NSA.
For some women, additional steps, such as avoiding birth control pills
or hormone therapy, or taking low-dose aspirin, might also be recommended.
Your doctor can help you form the best prevention plan, based on your
unique risk profile.
Stroke Center Certification
The Joint Commission has certified Iredell Memorial Hospital as a Primary
Stroke Center for our long-term success in improving the outcomes of stroke patients.
Our designation as a Primary Stroke Center means we have:
- A trained team that can quickly diagnose and treat stroke patients
- Established protocols in evaluating stroke patients
- Technologies to diagnose and treat stroke patients
- Ongoing education to stay abreast of innovations in stroke treatment
- A proven record for long-term success in improving outcomes
Remember, don't hesitate. Call 911.