World Stroke Day Raises Awareness - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

World Stroke Day Raises Awareness

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Strokes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States.  To help raise awareness about the warning signs and effects of strokes, people across the country are celebrating World Stroke Day today.  And, you may be surprised to learn who strokes are affecting nowadays.

The moment a stroke patient arrives at the Trinity emergency room, medical professionals have to act quickly because time is crucial.

"We have such a small window of time to treat a stroke.  Really, we have 4.5 hours to treat patients with medication," says stroke semi coordinator Jerilyn Alexander.

From diagnostic tests to CAT Scans, there's a lot things that need to be done in a short amount of time.

"Our average time from symptom on-set to presentation where the patient arrives in our ER, we're averaging 3.6 hours," says Alexander.

Warning signs of a stroke include:

                        -numbness or tingling

                        -no movement on one side of the body

                        -dizziness, sudden loss of balance

                        -trouble speaking

                        -impaired vision

                        -nausea, vomiting

On average, Alexander says they treat about five emergency room patients every month for mini strokes.  And, the number of young people experiencing stroke-like symptoms is going up.

"Oh, they're 25; it can't be a stroke," says Alexander.  "It's got to be something else.  I think a lot of times, we kind of miss those patients, because we just don't think its happening.  It must be something else."

The emergency room also treats about 20-25 major strokes each month.  But, many times people wait too long to come, which can leave them with life-long problems to deal with.

"There are a lot of reasons patients come up with as to why they don't come in right away.  And, I have seen some patients that have waited days to come in because they think it will get better on its own and a lot of times it doesn't.  Patients, if they have stroke, typically are not leaving the hospital without some type of deficit, says Alexander.

This includes speech deficits and the inability to walk without a cane or a walker.  But, again, these effects can be reduced.

"The sooner they come in after their symptoms begin, hopefully, we can stop the effect of the stroke or minimize the effects of the stroke," says Alexander.

Mini strokes have the symptoms of a stroke, but nothing shows up on an MRI.  If you do experience any of these stroke-like symptoms, call 911 immediately. 

 

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