PLATTE VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER URGES COMMUNITY TO BE AWARE OF STROKE SYMPTOMS DURING MAY, NATIONAL STROKE AWARENESS MONTH
“Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke, as on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke,” says Neurologist and Platte Valley Medical Center’s Stroke Director Rai Kakkar, M.D. “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.”1
In honor of National Stroke Awareness month, Platte Valley Medical Center is helping the community understand the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States, by offering a FREE Stroke Risk Screening Fair for the community on Saturday, May 19, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The event will be held in the hospital’s conference center, which is located on the main floor at 1600 Prairie Center Parkway in Brighton.
During the Stroke Fair, participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with skilled professionals; learn their risk score and how to modify their stroke risk factors; receive lifestyle education, pharmacy, and nutrition advice; and tour PVMC’s state-of-the-art Medical Imaging suite to learn how technology is used to diagnose and treat stroke. Free height, weight, and blood pressure screens will also be offered and attendees are encouraged to bring their most recent blood test results from the 9Health Fair or recent doctor’s visit, and a current list of medications.
To attend the FREE Stroke Fair and Community Risk Screenings Saturday, May 19, please RSVP at 303-498-1481.
Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.
“If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST – F-A-S-T,” said Dr. Kakkar. “F is for face – is your face drooping? A is for arms – can you lift both arms? S is for speech – are you slurring your words and T is for time, call 9-1-1 immediately because with stroke, time is brain.” 1
The primary stroke symptoms include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping
- Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States.1 According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, and 87 percent of these are ischemic strokes.1 An acute ischemic stroke occurs when an obstruction, such as a blood clot, blocks blood flow to the brain. The obstruction deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, destroying valuable nerve cells in the affected area within minutes. The resulting damage can lead to significant disability including paralysis, speech problems and emotional difficulties.
Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, can also help reduce your stroke risk.
For more information about stroke, visit www.strokeawareness.com.
1 American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2011 Update. Dallas, Texas: American Heart Association; 2010.