Fast treatment for stroke recovery
Affinity's Emergency and Neurology teams are skilled at treating stroke victims quickly.
Primary Stroke Center
St. Elizabeth Hospital and Mercy Medical Center are a certified Primary Stroke Center, a national designation granted to hospitals demonstrating consistent, excellent and advanced care of stroke victims. When patients come to St. Elizabeth or Mercy showing signs of a stroke, our experts have the knowledge and technology to stop a stroke in progress, repair the damaging effects and support ongoing recovery through rehabilitation and follow-up care.
Stroke victims and their families can feel secure in the hands of Affinity’s emergency and recovery care teams.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood clot or broken blood vessel interrupts blood flow to the brain. This “brain attack” causes brain cells to die, leading to brain damage and lost body functions such a memory, speech or movement.
Warning signs of a stroke
Sometimes, patients experience a mini-stroke called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). In a TIA, unlike a full-blown stroke, blood flow to the brain stops briefly and then resolves. This generally causes no permanent damage. However, a TIA can be a warning sign that a stroke is coming. More than one-third of people who have a TIA later suffer an actual stroke, sometimes as early as the next day.
If you experience any of these symptoms, get help immediately. They could be warning signs of a stroke.
Sudden numbness or weakness in your face, arm or leg—especially on one side of the body.
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Check FAST for these symptoms:
Family or caregivers can follow the FAST check for signs of a stroke in progress:
Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Can he/she hold them there, or does one arm drift downward?
Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or is the person having trouble finding the correct words?
Time - Time is important. If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911. Brain tissue is at risk; the faster you seek medical attention, the greater a stroke victim’s chances of recovery.
Detecting and treating a stroke
Our emergency medical team can treat a stroke, but you must get help fast. The sooner a stroke is caught, the better your chances of recovering.
In some cases, drug treatment can stop a stroke in its tracks. A medication called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) can be effective if taken within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Your emergency medical team will determine if tPA is right for you.
Preventing a stroke
A stroke can be devastating, yet up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Each year, approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke. Don’t become one of them. While some risk factors can’t be controlled (age, family history, race and gender), many can – particularly your lifestyle choices.
Prevent a stroke by:
maintaining a healthy diet
getting regular exercise
monitoring your blood pressure
monitoring your cholesterol
managing your diabetes
talking to your doctor about taking medication to prevent stroke if you are at high risk.
For more information on Affinity’s stroke care programs, talk with your primary care doctor or call Affinity NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900.