Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stroke [Infographic]

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stroke [Infographic]

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stroke [Infographic]

Do you know the warning signs of stroke?

Each year, more than 800,000 people in the United States experience a stroke. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of stroke early. If administered within the first three hours of symptom onset, FDA-approved clot buster drugs have shown to reduce long-term disability in many stroke patients.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke:

  • Facial Drooping — Ask the individual to smile. Is one side of his or her face drooping downward?
  • Arms — Next, ask him or her to raise both arms and note whether one drifts downward.
  • Slurred or Strange Speech — Finally, ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is it correct? Is his or her speech difficult to understand?
  • Time — If someone has these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Don’t put off medical attention, even if the symptoms disappear.

Approximately 80 percent of strokes are preventable, and making lifestyle  changes can help lower a person’s chances of having a stroke, including exercising regularly, quitting smoking, eating healthier, managing cholesterol and blood pressure, and managing atrial fibrillation.

View the infographic below to learn more about the signs and symptoms of stroke.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

If you would like more information on stroke, risk factors or treatment, schedule an appointment with a health care provider or learn more at KentuckyOne Health Stroke Care.

Quick Action and Treatment for Stroke Recovery

Patient Story - Jo Mae

When Jo Mae arrived at the Saint Joseph Hospital emergency room, the ER team knew immediately she was having a stroke.

Jo Mae was experiencing facial drooping, difficulty speaking and weakness on one side of her body. These are common symptoms of stroke, which can occur when blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or reduced.

Knowing that quick treatment was important, the Saint Joseph Hospital stroke team provided a blood clot-bursting medicine that restored blood flow in Jo Mae’s brain.

Thanks to her quick arrival at the hospital and the appropriate treatment, Jo Mae has no deficits from her stroke.

Watch the video below to hear her story.

Warning Signs and Common Symptoms of Stoke

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke

  • Facial Drooping — Ask the individual to smile. Is one side of his or her face drooping downward?
  • Arms — Next, ask him or her to raise both arms and note whether one drifts downward.
  • Slurred or Strange Speech — Finally, ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is it correct? Is his or her speech difficult to understand?
  • Time — If someone has these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Don’t put off medical attention, even if the symptoms disappear.

Recognizing and responding to symptoms of stroke right away could save a life. Learn more about stroke symptoms, including risk factors, and see our list of Frequently Asked Questions

 

Timely Stroke Intervention Saves Lives

Timely Stroke Intervention Saves Lives

Timely Stroke Intervention Saves Lives

During a stroke, your brain loses 1.9 million neurons a minute. Rapid intervention is the best chance for survival.

Stroke is the most common cause of long-term disability in the U.S. When a stroke occurs, it’s vital to recognize the symptoms quickly and access medical attention at a facility that can provide top-quality stroke care.

“Acute care in an emergency department is the best way to provide patients immediate treatment,” said David Blake, MD, medical director of the stroke program at Saint Joseph Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health. “Prompt treatment can potentially restore blood flow and improve the outcome for stroke patients.”

In December 2015, Saint Joseph Hospital received The Joint Commission certification as an advanced primary stroke center. Support begins with Saint Joseph Hospital’s emergency medical services team and continues with intervention, home health and rehabilitation.

In addition to an acute stroke team that responds to patients’ bedsides if they experience stroke symptoms, the hospital also provides rapid assessment for the use of clot-busting medication. The stroke response team includes specially trained nurses who provide comprehensive education for both patients and families. Providers know that saving lives begins well before the first symptoms appear; it begins with controlling risks.

Proactive Prevention

“Approximately 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by addressing the medical and lifestyle risk factors that contribute to stroke,” Dr. Blake said. “Establishing a good relationship with a primary care doctor or nurse practitioner can help patients make proactive decisions and prevent strokes.”

Medical providers regularly monitor patients for stroke risk factors and help determine how to reduce the likelihood of stroke.

Lifestyle risk factors for stroke include:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Being overweight
  • Not exercising regularly

Medical risk factors for stroke include having poorly managed conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated cholesterol, which can be positively affected by lifestyle modifications.

“Stroke providers such as myself are excited to see people in our region take action to control risk factors,” Dr. Blake said. “Patients who do so succeed at improving their well-being and longevity.”

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke

  • Facial Drooping — Ask the individual to smile. Is one side of his or her face drooping downward?
  • Arms — Next, ask him or her to raise both arms and note whether one drifts downward.
  • Slurred or Strange Speech — Finally, ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is it correct? Is his or her speech difficult to understand?
  • Time — If someone has these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Don’t put off medical attention, even if the symptoms disappear.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine. For more stories like this one, subscribe to One Health today.

Solving Structural Heart Problems

Read Solving Structural Heart Problems

Solving Structural Heart Problems
When the valves and chambers in your heart aren’t working correctly, a specialized heart team with experience can make the difference.

Structural heart disease describes any defect with the anatomy of your heart or chambers. Whether it’s the valves that control blood flow, the chambers that make up your heart or a problem with the aorta, structural heart disease can lower your quality of life and put you at increased risk for potentially life-threatening heart health concerns, such as heart failure or stroke.

Some common structural heart problems include:

  • Valve stenosis (narrowing). When blood flows from one area of the heart or body to another, it passes through a valve, which acts as a gateway in or out of the heart. The aortic valve controls blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. The mitral valve controls blood flow between the two chambers on the left side of the heart. And the pulmonary valve controls blood flow out of the heart and into the lungs. All can have narrowing. Left untreated, valve stenosis can cause irregular heartbeat, stroke, heart failure or loss of life.
  • Mitral valve regurgitation. When the mitral valve does not close properly, it can allow blood to flow backward, leading to heart failure and arrhythmia. Degenerative mitral regurgitation (wear and tear) along with mitral valve regurgitation caused by other conditions, such as coronary artery disease or heart muscle problems, are common causes of mitral regurgitation. If severe enough, mitral valve regurgitation can cause heart failure.
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD). A wall of tissue separates the upper chambers of the heart. An ASD is a hole in the tissue that allows oxygen-rich blood to flow into the oxygen-poor part of the heart. Symptoms vary depending on the size of the hole.

Treatment Requires a Skilled Team

Although medications can sometimes be used to manage symptoms of structural heart problems, surgery or a minimally invasive procedure may be the best treatment option.

“This subset of heart disorders is very complex and requires a collaborative team approach to address effectively,” said Nezar Falluji, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI, board-certified interventional cardiologist with KentuckyOne Health Cardiology Associates–Lexington. “At KentuckyOne Health, we offer a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach. We combine the skills of interventional cardiologists, who specialize in structural heart disease, with those of cardiovascular surgeons to provide the best evidence-based pharmacologic, minimally invasive and surgical intervention care.”

A Minimally Invasive Approach to Treating AVS

If you are dealing with aortic valve stenosis (AVS), you know how exhausting the condition can be. For patients with severe AVS who are not ideal candidates for surgical replacement, implanting a prosthetic aortic valve using a minimally invasive approach saves lives and improves quality of life. This approach is known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

At Saint Joseph Hospital and Jewish Hospital, both part of KentuckyOne Health, physicians use a catheter to place the replacement valve within the old, damaged valve, almost like a stent. The new valve takes over, and normal blood flow is restored. At KentuckyOne Health, TAVR is performed under conscious sedation, which improves patients’ recoveries and decreases hospital length of stay.

“The quality of life prior to aortic valve replacement is poor, and patients with aortic valve stenosis can’t do any type of activity that requires exertion — climbing the stairs, walking more than a block or doing things they want to do become impossible,” said Michael Flaherty, MD, PhD, board-certified interventional cardiologist, associate professor of medicine and physiology at the University of Louisville and director of adult structural heart disease at Jewish Hospital.“Fixing the valve not only improves patients’ quality of life, but is lifesaving. All those limitations are gone. When we perform the replacement with a catheter and use conscious sedation, patients are up and walking around the day of the procedure and go home the next day.”

Fixing Blood Flow Without Surgery

Patients with mitral valve regurgitation also face exhaustion, extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. If you have severe leakage but are not a candidate for surgery, the MitraClip system can help.

Available at Saint Joseph Hospital and Jewish Hospital, this system uses a nonsurgical puncture and a catheter to place a clip on the mitral valve. MitraClip allows the valve to close more completely, reducing the backflow of blood.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 edition of One Health magazine. For more stories like this one, subscribe to One Health today

The Right Route to Recovery

The Right Route to Recovery

The Right Route to Recovery

All stroke rehabilitation is the same, right? Wrong. Here’s why.

A stroke doesn’t just come and go. The repercussions of the event can stay with a person both mentally and physically for a lifetime. Each year, roughly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke, and many of those must then begin the recovery process.

Darryl Kaelin, MD

“Stroke is one of the most common causes for disability in America and is certainly a leading reason for needing rehab,” said Darryl Kaelin, MD, medical director at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health and associate professor of the division of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Louisville. “After a stroke, survivors can lose a lot of physical and mental function and must work to get back what they can. That’s where rehab comes in.”

In or Out?

The primary mission of all rehabilitation facilities is to help patients improve their quality of life by working on:

  • Skills such as walking, talking and eating
  • Physical strength and flexibility
  • Living an independent lifestyle

“Stroke patients must carefully consider where they will seek rehab,” Dr. Kaelin said. “Not all hospitals and clinics offer the same services.”

Recently the American Stroke Association recommended stroke survivors utilize acute, inpatient rehab instead of skilled nursing facilities. This decision was based on several studies that revealed numerous advantages to inpatient rehabilitation programs compared with those in skilled nursing facilities.

Some of the most notable benefits of inpatient rehabilitation include:

  • Daily visits from a rehab doctor
  • Longer therapy sessions
  • Higher nurse-to-patient ratios

These added benefits can lead to quicker recovery times as well as longer life expectancy for those who participate in acute inpatient rehab.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health Magazine. Want more health and rehabilitation news like this? Subscribe to One Health Magazine and receive the latest news straight to your inbox.