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Stroke Care

It's never too early to start healthy lifestyle habits that can lessen or eliminate the chance of a serious disease or illness, such as stroke. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, stopping tobacco use/smoking, and keeping an eye on blood pressure are always a good idea in the quest for a healthier, better you. Especially since stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and serious, long-term adult disability.

A stroke can happen at any time, regardless of age, race or gender, so recognizing the signs and symptoms can save lives and limit the chance of long-term damage and disabilities.

Use the "BE FAST" Test to Recognize a Stroke
B - Balance - Sudden loss of balance
E - Eye - Sudden vision change
F – Face - Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A - Arm - Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift?
S - Speech - Ask the person to repeat a single sentence. Is the speech slurred?
T - Time - Call 9-1-1 if you see these signs. Time is critical for the brain.

Follow the Golden Hour rule and act fast to save a life! If someone is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, CALL 9-1-1 and get to a hospital within one hour. Acting quickly – within the first Golden Hour after symptoms begin – greatly reduces the risk of damage to the heart or brain and greatly improves the chance of recovery.

What is a Stroke

Stroke 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 ruptures. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs and brain cells die.

Strokes can be ischemic (a blockage of the artery) or hemorrhagic (when the artery bursts or a bleed). Sometimes a TIA (transient ischemic attack) occurs, this is also known as a mini-stroke that produces stroke-like symptoms. If you are having any symptoms of a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. The sooner a stroke patient gets to the hospital, the sooner they will get the lifesaving treatment they need. Stroke survivors have the best outcomes when they receive treatment in 4.5 hours or less.

Click here to learn more about what strokes are and how to prevent/treat them.

How To Recognize a Stroke

A stroke is an emergency, know the signs and symptoms so you can BE FAST and get medical attention.

  • 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.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Know Your Stroke Risk Factors to Protect Yourself

If you have a risk factor, it doesn't mean you will have a stroke. But your risk grows if you develop further factors or the severity of them increases. So, take control of your life by learning about the risk factors and talking with your doctor.

While some risk factors, such as age and family history, are out of our control, we can take charge of others through healthy lifestyle changes.

To help prevent stroke:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Treat atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
  • Quit smoking
  • Treat diabetes

Risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Family history of stroke

Life after stroke can be difficult. Getting you healthy and getting you home, equipped with the skills you need to deal with your daily life safely and efficiently: that’s what we aim for at EPIC Rehab, the Excela Physical Improvement Center.

Stroke survivors and loved ones welcome are welcome to join us for education, resources, and support through our Stroke Support Group. Click here for details.

Stroke Logos

Frick, Latrobe, and Westmoreland Hospitals have been designated as Primary Stroke Centers by The Joint Commission and recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for exceeding national standards for quality patient care. To earn accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center, the hospitals have demonstrated proficiency in the prevention and early management of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) symptoms based on guidelines established by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for health care professionals.

Primart Stroke LogoStroke Badge

Butler Memorial Hospital has been designated as Primary Stroke Center by ACHC, Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc. Health for exceeding national standards for quality patient care. To earn accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center, the hospital has demonstrated proficiency in the prevention and early management of stroke

Recognized Stroke Centers in Pennsylvania

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