WRMC urges stroke symptom awareness

Posted Tuesday, May. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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May is National Stroke Awareness Month.

In order to help the community understand the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States, Weatherford Regional Medical Center is conducting a Vial of Life drive on Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Community members are welcome to come to the Education Pavilion at Weatherford Regional, located at 730 E. Anderson Street. Participants receive a free Vial of Life information packet and sticker. The Vial of Life is a smart way to have your medical information on hand just in case of an emergency. Store the information in a safe place, and in case of an emergency, medical personnel will be able to know who you are, what medications you are using, what illnesses you have, and who is your emergency contact person, which all is critical in the case of a stroke. For more information, call Deb Williford at 817-599-1672.

“Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke, as on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke,” Cyndi Aguirre, RN, Director of Emergency Services at Weatherford Regional said. “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.”

Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.

“If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST – F-A-S-T,” Dr. Jeffery Link, Interim Emergency Services Medical Director at Weatherford Regional said. “F is for face - is your face drooping? A is for arms – can you lift both arms? S is for speech – are you slurring your words and T is for time, call 9-1-1 immediately because with stroke, time is brain.”

The primary stroke symptoms include:

• Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping

• Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding speech

•  Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

•  Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

•  Sudden severe headache with no known cause

About Stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States.

According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, and 87 percent of these are ischemic strokes. An acute ischemic stroke occurs when an obstruction, such as a blood clot, blocks blood flow to the brain. The obstruction deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, destroying valuable nerve cells in the affected area within minutes. The resulting damage can lead to significant disability including paralysis, speech problems, and emotional difficulties.

Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, can also help reduce your stroke risk. For more information about stroke, visit www.strokeawareness.com.

About Weatherford Regional Medical Center

Weatherford Regional Medical Center is a 99-all private bed hospital and a network of medical clinics serving Parker County. A dedicated and experienced medical staff offers over 31 medical specialties and the hospital offers services ranging from comprehensive imaging services, a 24-hour emergency department, an expanded ICU, labor and delivery suites, and much more.

The hospital has received numerous awards and recognition, including Press Ganey Summit Award and The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval. For more information, call 817-341-CARE (2273) or visit www.weatherfordregional.com

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