Stroke Requires Fast Medical Attention
A stroke is what occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked or stopped. Within a few minutes of a stroke, brain cells begin to die. This is why it's so important for someone who is having a stroke to get medical attention as quickly as possible. Stroke affects about one person every four minutes in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are two kinds of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. In ischemic stroke, the most common type, a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. In hemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into the brain.
Level II Stroke Center
The Oklahoma State Health Department has designated St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center as a Level II Stroke Center. This means that the St. Mary's Regional stroke team has an organized approach and protocols for managing patients who come to the hospital for stroke treatment. Immediate neurosurgical backup is available at St. Mary's Regional, and everyone involved in treating patients knows his or her role, and works together to provide care.
As a designated Level II Stroke Center, our stroke team provides:
- Individualized care to meet stroke patients’ needs
- The active involvement of patients in their hospital care
- A streamlined, secure and private flow of patient information
- The proper use and handling of data to continually improve the quality of care for stroke patients
- Increased awareness of stoke prevention and education throughout the community.
In addition, St. Mary’s has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
Watch this short video to learn about stroke and stroke care.
Rehabilitation After Stroke
The physical and occupational therapists at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Mary's Regional Medical Center helped Randy Caywood relearn activities of daily living.
Symptoms of stroke include:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg—especially on one side of the body
- Difficulty with speaking or understanding speech
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause.
If you or someone you're with has any of these symptoms, you must get yourself or them to a hospital immediately. Staff in the emergency department will administer acute stroke medications to try to stop a stroke while it is happening. Ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, is treated with the 'clot-busting' drug known as tPA. The drug must be given to patients within three- to four-and-a-half hours after the onset of stroke symptoms.
Think FAST and Save a Life
If you or someone near you may be having a stroke, call 9-1-1 right away. The quicker you call for help, the sooner medical treatment can begin.
Use the acronym FAST to quickly identify possible strokes:
The best way to keep your brain healthy is to avoid a stroke in the first place. The best ways to prevent stroke are to do the following:
- Keep your blood pressure controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medications
- Don't smoke or stop smoking
- Take steps to manage your cholesterol
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight.