Strokes don't happen every day; they happen every 45 seconds.
A stroke occurs when blood can't get to the brain. Without blood and the oxygen it delivers, the brain starts to die. That's why seconds count. The sooner patients seek treatment, the more likely they will minimize permanent disability or even death. In order to better serve patients, Florida Hospital DeLand became West Volusia’s First Certified Primary Stroke Center in 2007.
According to the American Stroke Association, hospitals are evaluated and receive a certification based on an assessment of:
- Compliance with consensus-based standards.
- Effective use of primary stroke center recommendations and clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care.
- Performance measurement and improvement activities.
- Florida Hospital DeLand has a designated stroke team to provide suspected stroke patients with expert evaluation, rapid diagnosis and treatment when appropriate.
Symptoms of Stroke
According to the American Stroke Association, time is of the essence as noted by its current educational campaign: “Time lost is brain lost.” This is why recognizing the warning signs of stroke and getting to a hospital as quickly as possible are imperative, yet 83 percent of adults over 50 cannot name one stroke symptom.
Sudden, distinctive signs of stroke are:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, 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
Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. Stroke attacks someone in the United States every 45 seconds and claims a life every three minutes. Approximately 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year.
There are two types of strokes. An ischemic stroke is when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked by a clot. According to the American Stroke Association, it accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases. A hemorrhagic stroke is when a weekend blood vessel ruptures.
How to Help Prevent Stroke
- Know your blood pressure and find out if you have atrial fibrillation or high cholesterol.
- If you smoke, stop.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- If you are diabetic, follow your doctor's recommendations carefully to control your diabetes.
- Make exercise part of your daily routine.
- Enjoy a lower sodium (salt), lower fat diet.
- Ask your doctor if you have circulation problems that increase your risk for stroke.