Friday, June 17, 2011

Stroke News from Fauquier Health

Fauquier Hospital is a Certified Stroke Center of Excellence
Fauquier Hospital was recently confirmed as a Certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. This designation recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care.

Sometimes called a mini-stroke,
a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is nothing to ignore.

As you get older, the large blood vessels in your body called arteries can get damaged. Having high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, or being a smoker, may also cause injury to your arteries. This damage can cause plaque to build up in the injured area. The result? A blood clot can get stuck and cut off blood flow. If this blockage occurs in the brain, it causes a TIA or stroke.

What’s the Difference Between a TIA and Stroke?
A TIA is a blockage that comes and goes quickly, leaving no lasting damage. It usually lasts for just a few minutes, but this mini-stroke is a warning sign. About one-third of people who have a TIA go on to have a full-fledged stroke within a year.

The most common type of stroke is caused by a blockage that can result in long-term brain damage.

What Are the Symptoms of a TIA?
Symptoms of a TIA and stroke are the same. According to the American Stroke Association, they come on suddenly and include:
Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
Trouble speaking or understanding others
Loss of vision
Severe headache with no known cause
Dizziness or loss of balance
What Should I Do?
If you think you are having a TIA or stroke, it’s a medical emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Act FAST When a Stroke Strikes
The clot-busting drug TPA can reduce a stroke’s aftereffects, but TPA works only when administered within three hours after the most common kind of stroke. Experts agree, stroke patients should get to the hospital quickly. Move FAST and remember these tips:

F is for facial weakness. Your face feels numb or frozen, especially on one side.

A is for arm weakness, especially on one side.

S is for speech problems. You can’t speak or understand properly.

T is for time. The faster you get treatment, the less damage to your brain. Call 911 immediately, even if your symptoms disappear. You could be having a TIA, or mini-stroke, which also requires treatment.

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