St Lucie Medical Center is currently a participating hospital with the American Stroke Association's Get With Guidelines Stroke (GWTG) and accredited by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center.
As soon as a potential stroke patient arrives at SLMC, CT scanners are used to determine the location, type, nature and extent of the brain injury. Our emergency room doctors, neurologists and neurosurgeons are available 24 hours a day to treat stroke patients.
Our staff is trained to respond quickly so that the best treatments may be administered. t-PA, a clot-dissolving drug used to break up the clot and restore blood flow to the brain may be prescribed. Timing is of the utmost importance- this clot-dissolving drug must be given within the first 3 hours after stroke symptoms begin.
A stroke or "brain attack" is a type of vascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blockage from a clot or from an artery within the brain that has burst. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die. The result is sudden disability that can include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the 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
Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms of a stroke. Tell the 911 operator that you or the person you are calling for may be having a stroke.
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A stroke can be prevented if you take control of your risk factors. Talk to your doctor about how you can manage your risk factors.
Risk factors for stroke include:
- Carotid artery disease
- Excessive alcohol intake
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Illegal drug use such as cocaine
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle
- Tobacco use
- Atrial fibrillation
St Lucie Medical Center Stroke Support Group meets on the Second Wednesday of every month at 2:00pm. Please come and join us. For more information please call 772-398-3583.