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CentraState Encourages You to Save a Life ─ Recognize the Common Signs of Stroke

By |2020-02-27T11:12:22-05:00April 28th, 2017|

In recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month during May, CentraState Medical Center is encouraging everyone to recognize the signs of stroke to help save a life. While significant inroads have been made in the prevention and treatment of strokes, the after-effects can still be debilitating or irreversible. In fact, stroke is the fourth- leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 Americans each year. The best way to protect yourself and those around you is to recognize the following physical symptoms of a stroke, which may come on suddenly and without warning:

• Weakness or numbness in the face, arm, leg on one side

• Trouble speaking, understanding or slurred speech

• Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes

• Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

• Severe and unusual headache

In addition to recognizing the signs of stroke, urgent medical care is critical and can mean the difference between life and death. The type of stroke a person experiences determines the immediate treatment necessary. The most common type of stroke is ischemic stroke. This occurs when a blood clot travels from somewhere in the body to the brain and blocks an artery supplying blood to a specific part of the brain.

Tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) is the FDA-approved, first-line treatment, however, it must be administered by injection within four and a half hours from the onset of the symptoms. Again, this is why immediate medical care is urgent. Patients who receive t-PA during the first 4.5 hours of an acute stroke have a significantly higher probability of a better neurological outcome in the long term. However, the sooner that t-PA is administered, the better the outcome.

Each year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. Common risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking, among others. CentraState strongly encourages everyone, from children to seniors, to subscribe to a healthy lifestyle by eating right, staying active, sleeping well and finding ways to offset stress. Doing so can absolutely help to extend your life and minimize many life-threatening medical conditions, including stroke. In the event you ever experience stroke symptoms ─ do not wait for symptoms to subside ─ dial 911 for immediate medical assessment and treatment.

CentraState Medical Center’s Primary Stroke Center includes an on-site, 24/7 specialty-trained “Stroke Alert” response team to assess patients in the Emergency Department and initiate an immediate treatment protocol. The center has earned licensed certification from The Joint Commission and New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award for three consecutive years. This award recognizes CentraState’s ongoing commitment and success in implementing the highest quality care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines. For more information about CentraState’s Stroke Center, call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).

In addition, the neuro rehab program at CentraState Medical Center offers specialized and tailored physical and occupational therapy program for stroke victims. The neuro rehab team provides a comprehensive assessment of a patient’s condition and develops an integrated, customized treatment and management plan to meet the patient’s needs. They combine the latest technology with integrated, wellness programs and holistic care to help patients achieve the best possible outcomes after a stroke. For more information about neuro rehab, call 866-CENTRA7.

CentraState Healthcare System is a nonprofit community health organization consisting of an acute-care hospital, a health and wellness campus, three senior living communities, a Family Medicine Residency Program, and a charitable foundation. CentraState’s teaching program is sponsored by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

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