Tag Archives: stroke symptoms

Can You Recognize A Stroke?

Face drooping.
Arm weakness.
Slurred Speech.

These are the signs of a stroke. Would you recognize them? In this WLTX interview, Dr. Katie Dahlberg, neurologist at Southeastern Neurology & Memory Clinic, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, explains this dangerous condition and talks about treatment and prevention.

Lexington Medical Center is a Primary Stroke Center. The hospital has received a “Gold Plus” Quality Achievement Award for stroke care from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke program. And, the hospital achieved Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll recognition this year.

The “Gold Plus” award is the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for stroke care and recognizes commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients. The honor goes to hospitals with excellent adherence to stroke quality indicators and measures, including use of proven medications, therapy, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability, and improving the lives of stroke patients.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator. If given in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. At LMC, nearly 80 percent of stroke patients receive tPA within 60 minutes of arrival.

Learn more at LexMed.com/Stroke

Spot the Signs of Stroke

Which of the following is a sign of stroke?
Facial drooping.
Arm weakness.
Slurred speech.
The answer? All of the above. And if you see someone with the symptoms of a stroke, it’s important to act quickly.

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 can’t get the oxygen it needs and starts to die. If it lasts for a long time, there can be permanent damage.

Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, smoking, excessive alcohol use and atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat.

South Carolina has a high rate of stroke. In fact, it’s the fourth leading cause of death in the state. Statistics show that more than 20,000 people suffer a stroke in South Carolina each year, and more than 2,500 people die from a stroke.

“South Carolina is in what’s known as the ‘Stroke Belt’,” said Douglas Sinclair, DO, a neurologist with Southeastern Neurology and Memory Clinic, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. “Our state has a bad combination of factors including smoking, poor diet, and not seeking routine medical care that makes us have a higher prevalence of stroke than the rest of the country. Here in the South, we deep fry pickles.”

When it comes to stroke, experts say to think “F-A-S-T” to look for symptoms and respond.
F: Facial drooping
A: Arm weakness
S: Slurred speech
T: Time to call 9-1-1

A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate care. If someone shows stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1 and get them to a hospital right away. Also note the last time the person did not have any stroke symptoms. Doctors may treat the patient with a drug called tPA that busts clots. If given in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

Douglas Sinclair, DO

“Stroke patients often do not realize they’ve had a stroke and resist the idea of going to the Emergency department,” Dr. Sinclair said. “Unlike heart attacks, the typical stroke causes no pain and patients often want to go to bed or take a nap. If you think you or a loved one is having a stroke, call 9-1-1.”

Ways to lower stroke risk include quitting smoking, talking to your doctor about treating high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and following a healthy diet such as the DASH or Mediterranean diet.

A stroke can happen at any age. While most cases of stroke are in patients older than 65, a third of all strokes in the United States occur in patients younger than that. Stroke can also run in families.

Lexington Medical Center is a certified Primary Stroke Center, which recognizes that the hospital follows the best practices for stroke care. It has also received a “Gold Plus” Quality Achievement Award for stroke care from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines Stroke program and qualified for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll.

For more information about stroke care at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/Stroke.

A Stroke at Age 25

It was March 24, 2014 and Savannah Tapler was on her way to work, excited to get the day going. It was her 25th birthday, but before the day was out, she would find herself facing the hardest test of her young life.

As Savannah arrived to work that morning at Lexington Medical Center — she’s a planning analyst — she stumbled getting out of her car. She was limping but felt no pain. As Savannah tried to walk toward her office, she could go no farther and called out for help. Co-workers rushed to her and took her to the Emergency department.

Savannah learned she suffered a burst blood vessel in her brain, resulting in a stroke. “When the doctor told me he thought I was having a stroke, I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Stroke is not something you associate with someone my age. I was dumbfounded.”

Savannah had always watched her diet and worked out on a regular basis. Now the doctor was telling her she may walk again but likely not run.

Once she had recovered enough to be released from Lexington Medical Center, Savannah went directly to a rehabilitation hospital. “I had one job to do and that was to get back to my old self,” she recalled.

Savannah had at least three hours of therapy every day and usually stayed longer to put in extra effort. By the time she was released from the rehabilitation center, she was able to take a few steps without holding on to anything for support. Her rehabilitation continued through outpatient therapy. She consistently worked on her recovery, taking exercise bands home and playing games such as picking up marbles with her toes. Her husband Aidan also learned some of the exercises so that he could help at home.

Today, Savannah is completely recovered. “I had a bit of lingering shaking in my leg for a while,” she said. “But that has almost completely disappeared.”
And now she has a bundle of joy that keeps her on the go as she and Aidan welcomed their son Beckett in the fall of 2015.

While Savannah’s stroke may not have been preventable — doctors now say she suffered from a ‘spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage’ that may have been the result of a weakened blood vessel since birth – she understands the significance of seeking help for stroke as quickly as possible. “I believe that getting to a doctor as quickly as I did probably saved my life.”

 

Lexington Medical Center is a Primary Stroke Center. The hospital has also received a Gold Plus award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Both honors recognize Lexington Medical Center’s commitment to and success in stroke care.