In addition to being named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades for a sixth straight year, Piedmont Fayette Hospital has also been named one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care and a recipient of Healthgrades’ Stroke Care Excellence Award for seven consecutive years. While Piedmont Fayette can provide excellent care for stroke patients, the biggest factor in creating positive outcomes is for a person to act quickly at the first signs of a stroke.
“A stroke is when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted due to a blockage or a ruptured blood vessel. When this happens, the brain doesn’t receive oxygen and glucose that is required to prevent brain cells from dying,” says Lisa Jackson, Stroke Program Manager at Piedmont Fayette. “The faster a stroke is recognized and treatment is provided to restore blood flow to the brain, the greater chance disability will be reduced. Every minute nearly 2 million brain cells can die. Recognizing the symptoms and calling 911 immediately are the first steps to improving outcomes.”
The key to optimal recovery of a stroke and decreasing disability is to act F.A.S.T.
Other signs of a stroke are what is known as “The Suddens,” which include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body, sudden confusion or trouble understanding, sudden trouble seeing, sudden trouble walking, and/or a sudden severe headache with no known cause.
“Knowing the signs of a stroke and acting fast can help lead to better outcomes,” said Jackson. “The great news is 80 percent of all strokes are preventable, so it is important to know what your personal risk factors are and work toward improving them.”
Eating a poor diet, having limited physical activity, drinking to excess, and smoking are all high-risk choices that can lead to a stroke and lead to medical risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Making these lifestyle changes can reduce the risks for a stroke.
To learn more about stroke prevention and care, visit piedmont.org.