● By Wendy Sipple
Do you know the symptoms of stroke?
If you answered no, you are not alone. According to area experts, most of us are uninformed about stroke and the warning signs. It is imperative that everyone learn the signs. Memorize and share the list of symptoms with everyone you know.
A stroke cuts oxygen from your brain and cells begin dying. If a stroke is caught quickly, the effects can be minimized or reversed. A stroke or as sometimes called “brain attack” is a medical emergency and must be treated with urgency. If you think someone might be having a stroke by displaying one of any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately. Don’t put it off or try and explain anything away. It is better to be wrong at the hospital than a stroke victim alone.
Know the Warning Signs
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, and/or sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; as well as experiencing sudden severe headache with no known cause. All signs may not occur at one time, but don’t ignore combined signs, even if they go away.
We have excellent hospitals here in the Sacramento/Sierra area that are capable of handling stroke...it’s up to you to get there.
Sutter Roseville, part of the Sutter Rehabilitation Institute, is a certified trauma center. The emergency room and staff are qualified to handle any and all medical emergencies that come through the door...including stroke patients. Several of their staff physicians are nationally recognized as leaders in stroke prevention research. “Learn and heed stroke symptoms,” Sutter’s Gary Zavoral, Public Relations Specialist states, “and most importantly take immediate action.”
Mercy Folsom is working to apply for their primary stroke certification this fall. They currently offer a broad range of treatment, and recently unveiled a telemedicine robot that allows stroke physicians to examine patients remotely with the help of a wireless robot. Medical professionals stress the importance of identifying the warning signs. “It is incredibly important to come in immediately,” says Amy Hooper, Acute Care Services Senior Director. “It greatly increases our ability to treat a patient and limit devastating lasting effects,” she asserts.
Marshall Medical Hospital in Placerville offers excellent care for stroke patients. They also emphasize the importance of immediate care. “When it comes to stroke,” Carrie Poggio, marketing specialist says, “time equals brain.” Marshall is highly rated for their formal stroke protocol that ensures they are taking every step for proper treatment. Dr. John Tucker, Emergency Department Medical Director says, “Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke care.”
Each hospital provides stroke support groups for patients, their loved ones and caregivers. These meetings are a safe place to express feelings and get encouragement from staff and fellow participants. Cheryl Purgett, a social worker with Marshall says, “The group leaders and fellow patients give helpful hints for life after a stroke.”
Remember, stroke awareness means you need to act FAST, so remember these signs: Facial weakness, Arm and leg weakness, Speech problems, and “Time is critical.” If you feel or see these signs, get help right away.