heart-disease-awareness-monthIn recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month, Rockdale Medical Center wants to build awareness about the symptoms of stroke and actions to take if you suspect someone is experiencing a stroke. The aim is to help you recognize that you could save a life. When someone is experiencing a stroke, every second counts.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that nearly 800,000 Americans will suffer a stroke each year. However, it is important to understand that 80% of strokes can be prevented. Time is critical. Some of the common symptoms include loss of balance, drooping of one side of the face when a person smiles, slurred speech, and blurriness in vision.

If you suspect someone is experiencing a stroke, remember the acronym FAST.

F – Face: Is there droopiness in the face?

A – Arms: Is there weakness in the arms, such as difficulty holding one up?

S – Speech: Is the person able to repeat a simple phrase?

T – Time: Call 9-1-1

It’s vital to recognize stroke symptoms and act fast to get someone experiencing a stroke to an emergency room. Strokes can happen at any age and, according to the National Stroke Association, there has been an alarming 44% spike in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke in the last decade.

A stroke occurs when there is a problem getting blood to the brain, either because of a blockage or a ruptured blood vessel. When this happens, the brain does not get enough oxygen, causing brain cells to die. Every minute in a situation of a stroke, you can lose vital brain functions.

Rockdale Medical Center is committed to making communities healthier. Most people who have a stroke have high blood pressure so it’s important to keep your blood pressure in check. Other risk factors include smoking, elevated blood cholesterol or lipid levels, lack of physical activity, being overweight, being diagnosed with diabetes, having high stress and having a family history of heart disease or stroke.

For preventative measures, get regular check-ups from your doctor. Inform your doctor if you have any symptoms or risks. With the proper help from your doctor, you can get the help needed to evaluate symptoms, address concerns of a potential stroke, and get risk factors under control.

In addition, getting vascular screenings can provide information about your risk for stroke and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Screenings check for carotid artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, PAD, blood pressure, sleep apnea, lipid profile, cholesterol and hemoglobin A1C.

In the event you experience a stroke, Rockdale Medical Center is certified as a stroke treatment center by The Joint Commission, the organization that accredits hospitals. The certification demonstrates that Rockdale Medical Center’s stroke program meets critical elements of performance to achieve long-term success in improving stroke patient outcomes.

The team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, rehabilitation therapists and case managers at Rockdale Medical Center collaborate to provide the best possible care to the patient with stroke in a state-of-the-art facility. They provide CT and MRI imaging, angiography, complete laboratory services, conventional and intensive care beds, and surgical procedure to address the complexities of stroke.

About Rockdale Medical Center

Rockdale Medical Center, part of LifePoint Health, is committed to Making Communities Healthier®. A 138-bed, acute-care facility, Rockdale Medical Center offers a wide range of services including inpatient and outpatient services and leading-edge technology. Rockdale Medical Center is fully accredited by The Joint Commission which evaluates hospital patient care for quality, safety and value. For more information about Rockdale Medical Center, please visit www.rockdalemedicalcenter.org.  For more information about LifePoint Health, visit www.LifePointHealth.net.