CHRISTUS Health is recognizing World Stroke Day on Oct. 29 by bringing awareness to stroke education, symptoms and prevention.
Strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. Nearly 800,000 people have a stroke each year in the U.S.
“There are many risk factors of a stroke,” said Dr. Sandeep Duggal, FAAEM, system medical director of emergency medicine with CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Hospital – St. Elizabeth. “Such as: diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking and family history. That’s why it is so important to connect with a health care provider, to help reduce your risk.”
An ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke are two of the most common types of stroke. An ischemic stroke is when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when there is bleeding in the brain.
“When a stroke is suspected, people need to remember the acronym BEFAST,” said Jennifer Burwell, stroke coordinator with CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler. “If a patient experiences a sudden loss of balance, loss of vision in one or both eyes, face looks uneven, arms or legs are weak or hanging down, speech is slurred or they are having trouble speaking or seem confused, it’s imperative they call 911 immediately.”
Experts said every single second counts when it comes to treating a stroke. In fact, nearly 2 million brain cells are lost per second.
A CHRISTUS stroke patient recalled the moment he felt something was not right.
“I was walking toward my vehicle after visiting a family member at the cemetery,” said Steve Brice, a stroke survivor. “I started to fall over and some people that were standing across the street ran over to see about me and they called 911.”
He was taken to CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital- Tyler and that is when he learned he was experiencing a stroke.
“I am grateful I was treated right away,” he said. “The care I received allowed me to continue to spend time with my children, grandchildren and explore parts of the United States that I have not been to. I don’t view having a stroke as being a victim but rather a minor setback in my story.”
CHRISTUS Health is committed to providing high-quality stroke rehabilitation services across its many locations. These services help patients recover from a stroke by providing a comprehensive, patient-focused approach to care.
“Treatment does not stop after a patient has a stroke,” said Dr. Morgan Campbell III, regional director of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System’s Neuroscience Institute. “In fact, that’s when the patient’s work begins. We have patients start their rehabilitation journey. Our therapists work with each individual patient to ensure their unique goals of cognitive, speech, occupational and physical therapy are met. This well-rounded care helps us provide our patients with their best possible outcome.”
CHRISTUS Health’s comprehensive stroke centers are recognized by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for stroke care by meeting achievement measures for diagnosing and treating stroke patients.
“Life after a stroke can be broken down into thirds,” Burwell said. “A third of people will live with a disability after a stroke, a third will live a normal life, and a third, unfortunately, die from a stroke. This is why it is so imperative to follow preventative measures, to hopefully reduce your risk of a stroke.”
To learn more about stroke symptoms and care, visit our website.