According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and an important cause of long-term disability in America. A stroke happens about every 40 seconds and someone dies from a stroke about every 4 minutes.
Stroke Page Directory:
What is a Stroke?
The brain controls most functions of the body. It allows people to think, understand, speak, move and feel. The brain needs oxygen and nutrients. These things are provided to the brain by blood flow through the blood vessels in the brain.
Stroke is a “brain attack” that occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off by a blockage or bursting of a blood vessel. When this occurs the brain cells in that part of the brain begin to die from a lack of oxygen and nutrients.
How a person is affected by a stroke depends on what part of the brain was damaged by the lack of blood flow and how big of an area in the brain became injured by the “attack”. This damage causes that part of the brain to lose the ability to do its job or control a specific function.
Types of Strokes
This type of stroke is seen in about 15% of all strokes (less common). Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a brain aneurysm bursts or a weakened blood vessel leaks. The blood spills into or around the brain creating swelling and pressure, damaging the cells and tissue of the brain. Unfortunately, this type of stroke is responsible for 40% of all stroke deaths.
This type of stroke is the more common type of stroke. Ischemic strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked. This causes blood not to reach that part of the brain and the cells die. Multiple risk factors make a person more disposed to a potential stroke. Such risks may include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, life style choices.
Additional Information: Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
A TIA occurs when blood flow to part of the brain stops for a short period of time. The symptoms mimic a stroke but usually last less than 24 hours. Though TIAs do not usually cause permanent damage, they are warning signs that a stroke can occur in the near future. TIA symptoms should not be ignored!
Time is Important: Act FAST
Time is important to save brain cells. There are some treatment options that may be available with prompt help. It is time to call “911” when the symptoms occur. Remember F.A.S.T.:
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
If you observe any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately!
The Stroke Program at Nanticoke
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital (NMH) is Joint Commission (TJC) certified as a Primary Stroke Center (PSC). NMH services, include, but not limited to, the following:
- A team of physicians, nurses, and technicians experienced in treating stroke come together in an emergency to form an acute stroke team which is available 24 hours a day for any person(s) exhibiting stroke symptoms.
- The Emergency Department staff members are experienced in diagnosing and treating stroke victims. They are able to maintain communication with emergency medical responders in the field.
- The emergency medical responders work together with NMH to ensure early communication of potential stroke victims.
- The Emergency Department physicians are qualified to administer t-PA, a “clot busting” medication, to appropriate stroke victims.
- NMH has written protocols and electronic (computerized) ordering systems to speed up the diagnosis and treatment of stroke.
- NMH offers 24-hour neuro-imaging services (CT Scan, MRI, X-Ray) to rapidly make a decision if a patient has a potential ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.
- NMH has laboratory services available 24-hours a day.
- Cardiac imaging, such as echocardiograms, are available.
- Quality metrics are used to monitor performance and make improvements in the stroke program. A national registry (Get-With-The-Guidelines) is an important tool for analysis.
- NMH physicians and staff who assist stroke victims during all phases of their care (emergency, inpatient, transition to discharge) receive continuing education.
- Community education is performed regularly to spread information on stroke recognition, potential treatment with early intervention, risk factors and prevention.
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is Primary Stroke Center that partners with a Comprehensive Stroke Center. A Comprehensive Stroke Center provides specialized services and procedures, such as clot retrieval, for clots blocking a main blood vessel. If those types of services are required, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will safely transfer the person to a Comprehensive Stroke Center. For patients who do not require specialized services, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital provides inpatient services to those who experience a stroke or stroke-like symptoms. Services include all aspects of care from emergency attention through the discharge process.