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How to Respond to a Stroke | SCRMC Emergency Department

Posted on August 1, 2019

In the United States, on average one person has a stroke every forty seconds. A stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and it is the fifth leading cause of death. With statistics like these, most people have had or know someone that has had a stroke. As devastating as a stroke can be, there is hope. With knowledge of signs, symptoms and what to do during a stroke, you can greatly reduce the impact one may have on your life or a loved one’s life. Healthcare providers at South Central Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department are here to help you prevent, treat and recover from a stroke.

“A stroke can happen to anyone,” states Jessica Walters, RN, Stroke Care Coordinator at SCRMC. “We encourage the community to immediately call 911 if someone is experiencing symptoms of a stroke. EMS professionals can respond quickly, start blood work, and expedite care with the Emergency Department. SCRMC’s Emergency Department is in constant communication with paramedics in route to the hospital.”

Some signs or symptoms of a stroke are slurred speech; paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg; trouble with seeing in one or both eyes; a sudden, severe headache, possibly with vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness; difficulty walking; or blurred vision in one or both eyes. It is important to take note of when signs and symptoms begin as this may affect treatment options. You should contact a doctor immediately if you notice any signs or symptoms in yourself or someone else, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.

One effective way of recognizing signs of a stroke is with the “FAST” method:

  • Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to raise up?
  • Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
  • Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

“Time is brain, so the faster you can receive care for a stroke, the better your outcome will be,” stated Walters. “We work with medical specialists throughout the local community to ensure the best care is provided.”

Depending on the condition of the patient, the treatment team at South Central Regional Medical Center may include a neurologist, an emergency medicine physician, speech therapist, physical therapist, nurse, dietitian, occupational therapist, social worker, or a psychiatrist. Recovery from a stroke is different for every patient, but the ultimate goal is to restore as much functionality back to the body as possible so the patient can return to an active, independent life. At South Central Regional Medical Center, providers are committed to helping patients prevent, treat, and recover successfully from a stroke.

For more information on healthcare services within the South Central Regional Medical Center health system, please visit scrmc.com.