At Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital, We are SERIOUS about Stroke.
In the time that it takes you to read this article, 3 people in America will have suffered from a stroke. In fact, every year an estimated 700,000 Americans suffer stroke or recurrent stroke making it a leading cause of adult disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Recognized for Excellence in Treatment of Stroke
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital has received the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission and has been recognized as a Primary Stroke Center.
According to the Eleventh Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital also received a five-star ranking for clinical excellence in the treatment of stroke. This is the fourth year in a row that the hospital has achieved this distinction (2006-2009).
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital has been recognized with the American Stroke Association's Get with the Guidelines Achievement Award for delivering quality care for stroke.
Free Educational Guide on Stroke and Heart Attack
Are you at risk for a heart attack of stroke? Click here to request a free guide to learn more about the risk factors and warning signs.
What is a Stroke?
Stroke Warning Signs
Early Detection and Treatment
What is a Stroke?
Stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease. It affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.
Clots that block an artery cause ischemic (is-KEM-ik) strokes. This is the most common type of stroke, accounting for over 80 percent of all strokes.
Ruptured blood vessels cause hemorrhagic (hem-o-RAJ-ik) or bleeding strokes.
When part of the brain dies from lack of blood flow, the part of the body it controls is affected. Strokes can cause paralysis, affect language and vision, and cause other problems. Treatments are available to minimize the potentially devastating effects of stroke, but to receive them, one must recognize the warning signs and act quickly!
Stroke Warning Signs
There are warning signs that may serve as clues your body sends that your brain is not receiving enough oxygen. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke or "brain attack," don't wait, call a doctor or 911 right away. These warning signs include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.
- Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye.
- Sudden difficulty speaking or trouble understanding speech.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
- Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially with any of the other signs.
Other danger signs that may occur include double vision, drowsiness and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These brief episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs, are sometimes called "mini-strokes." Since these episodes tend to be brief, many people ignore them. However, TIAs may help identify an underlying serious condition that isn't going to go away without medical help.
Early Detection and Treatment are Critical
When someone is having a stroke, they need prompt emergency medical care. During a stroke blood supply to the brain is cut off or disrupted, causing part of the brain to go without the oxygen-rich blood it needs. The longer the brain goes without blood, the greater the chance a disability will occur.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducted a five-year study on the use of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busting drug. The study found that patients who received tPA within three hours of the first stroke symptoms were at least 30 percent more likely to recover with little or no disability after three months. When a person is having a stroke, doctors must first determine whether the stroke is caused by a clot (ischemic stroke) or by a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhagic) before tPA can be used. This is because tPA can only be used for ischemic strokes, which account for about 87 percent of all strokes.
The Stroke Team at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital employs a patient-centered approach to assessing and diagnosing stroke to promptly begin the appropriate treatment during the critical early stages of a stroke.
Males and females of all ages and races suffer from strokes. Regardless of age or race, there are risk factors that you should know about. Keep in mind, though, that having a risk factor doesn't mean you'll have a stroke. On the other hand, if you are missing a risk factor does not mean you'll avoid a stroke.
Treatable risk factors for a stroke include:
- High blood pressure
- Cigarette smoking
- Heart disease
A better understanding of the causes of stroke has helped Americans make lifestyle changes that have helped to reduce the stroke death rate. Stroke may be preventable and treatable.
Are you at risk for stroke? Attend a free stroke screening at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital to help you better understand your health risks.
For more information on Stroke, visit http://www.strokeassociation.org/