When it comes to stroke, the health care teams at Floyd Medical Center and Polk Medical Center know that minutes matter. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chances of survival and recovery.
Acting F.A.S.T. and recognizing the warning signs of a stroke are key factors in receiving the appropriate medical care:
- Call 911 if you think someone is having a stroke. Patients treated by Floyd Emergency Medical Services (EMS) receive stroke alert services. This means that patients identified as having a stroke are ensured a quick diagnosis and treatment.
- Get to the nearest hospital.
Floyd Medical Center meets the national standard of treating stroke patients within 60 minutes of arrival at the hospital, known as door-to-needle time. The goal of such a quick response is to preserve as many brain cells as possible, which increases the chance of survival and recovery.
Polk Medical Center is an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital and can quickly and effectively treat and stabilize stroke patients prior to sending them to a primary or comprehensive stroke center. Floyd Medical Center is just 22 miles north of Polk Medical Center.
Floyd Medical Center has earned the following designations for its care in treating stroke patients:
- Advanced Certification for its Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission. The certification recognizes centers that have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients.
- Get with the Guidelines® - Stroke GOLD PLUS Recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Hospitals receiving this award have reached an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 12 months. In addition, those hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent compliance to seven out of 10 stroke quality measures during the 12-month period.
Polk Medical Center is recognized as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when blood cannot flow to the brain as it should. A change in blood flow is caused when one of the following happens:
- A blood clot blocks one of the vital blood vessels in the brain − known as an ischemic stroke. Most strokes are ischemic strokes.
- A blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into surrounding tissues − called a hemorrhagic stroke.
The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function. Even a brief interruption in blood supply − such as with a stroke − can cause problems. Brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen, and a loss of brain function occurs with brain cell death.
Stroke is an emergency and should be treated by calling 911. The greatest chance for recovery from stroke occurs when emergency treatment is started immediately. Learn to act F.A.S.T. and recognize the warning signs of stroke.
These are the most common symptoms of stroke:
- 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
Use F.A.S.T. to help you remember the warning signs of a stroke. If you think someone is having a stroke, do not wait. Call 911 immediately.
Stroke Risk Factors
About 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. Add up your points on the Stroke Risk Scorecard to learn if you are at risk. If you are at risk, talk to your primary care doctor about stroke prevention.
Conditions and Treatments
The following conditions and treatments are related to the care of a person who has experienced a stroke.
Hemorrhagic stroke (brain hemorrhage)
- Carotid artery occlusions
- Cerebral artery occlusions
- Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA): Must be given within three hours of symptom onset.
- Medication management to reduce swelling in the brain.
- Surgery to stop bleeding in the brain.
Blood pressure management
- Education related to post-operative care after discharge
An important step in recovering from a stroke is rehabilitation. Floyd Medical Center and Polk Medical Center offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab that includes the following therapies:
For more information, call 706.509.6384 or email us.