All three of the Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals are
Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Centers!
Information on Stroke
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States - with more than 750,000 strokes each year. Strokes cause more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease, and the risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after age 55, while nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65.
What is a a stroke?
A stroke is a brain injury that occurs when an artery (a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain) ruptures or is blocked. The brain has very limited energy stores and relies on a steady flow of fresh blood to meet its energy needs. When blood flow to the brain is severely limited or blocked, cells in the immediate area begin to die within four to 10 minutes. When brain cells are injured or die, the part of the body they control cannot work as it should.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Neuroscience Program
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican is a leader in acute stroke intervention, care and rehabilitation. Capabilities include telemedicine through the use of InTouch RP-7i robots, to ensure a stroke patient can receive treatment without delay.
Types of Stroke
There are three types of strokes:
An Ischemic Stroke is a stroke caused by a blocked artery. This is the most common type of stroke (85 percent of strokes are ischemic) and it can sometimes be treated with clot busting drugs.
A Hemorrhagic Stroke is a stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel which results in bleeding into the brain tissue.
A Transient Ischemic Attack, or TIA, is also called a “mini stroke” and occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time. The symptoms of a TIA are similar to the warning signs of a stroke but usually last only a few minutes. About 10 percent of strokes are preceded by TIAs, which are very strong predictors of stroke risk. TIAs are a medical emergency and should be treated immediately.
Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
During a stroke, blood stops flowing to part of the brain. This can damage areas in the brain that control the rest of the body. Get help immediately if any of the following symptoms come on suddenly, even if the symptoms don't last long.
Warning signs of a stroke can include:
- Sudden weakness, numbness or tingling of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, slurred speech or trouble understanding others.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes or double vision.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, a feeling of spinning, loss of balance, the feeling of falling, loss of coordination or even a blackout.
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
Stroke is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If you recognize any of these symptoms, act FAST and call 9-1-1!
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 downward or have no resistance?
S = Speech Ask the person to say a simple phrase. Are the words slurred or incomprehensible?
T = Time Timing is everything. If you observe any of these signs in yourself or someone around you, call 9-1-1 immediately and tell them you think the person is having a stroke. Do not wait for symptoms to worsen, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Risk Factors for Stroke
Certain risk factors and lifestyle issues make it more likely that you will develop artery disease and have a stroke. Some risk factors for stroke can be controlled while others cannot. Knowing the risk factors and changing your lifestyle can help you avoid having a stroke.
Health Risk Factors
- You are overweight and/or obese
- You have high blood pressure
- You have diabetes
- You have atrial fibrillation
- You have had prior heart attacks
- You have narrowed arteries
- You have had prior strokes
Lifestyle Risk Factors
- You smoke
- You are physically inactive
- You drink more than two alcoholic drinks per day
- Your regularly eat salty, fried or greasy foods
Age and Family History
- You are over age 60
- Your parents, brother or sister have had a stroke
- Gender - while more men have strokes each year, more than half of stroke deaths occur in women
- Stroke is more common among African Americans
Metabolic Syndrome Raises Risk
Any of the above factors puts you at increased risk for stroke, but having three or more of certain risk factors (metabolic syndrome) multiplies your risk. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels, increasing your risk for not just stroke, but heart disease and diabetes.