One of the most important ways to prevent severe damage from a stroke is to recognize the early warning signs of somebody experiencing a stroke. The American Stroke Association has provided this easy tool to help identify symptoms of a potential stroke with the acronym F.A.S.T.:
F = Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb, or is the person's smile uneven?
A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?
T = Time to call 911
Additional symptoms include a severe headache with no known cause, trouble walking, dizziness, trouble seeing, and confusion speaking or understanding speech.
image courtesy of Massachusetts Department of Public Health
As a designated Massachusetts Department of Public Health Stroke Center, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center ensures the best possible outcomes for patients being treated for stroke. This certification requires that a hospital’s Emergency Department meets strict guidelines for treating individuals with stroke symptoms, including treating patients by using thrombolytics – clot-busting drugs (tPA) considered the standard of care for treating certain kinds of strokes.
Our Stroke Center specialists also provide close neurological monitoring and secondary stroke prevention as well as cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose monitoring to reduce stroke recurrence.
Patients also have access to physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Rehabilitation and follow up neurological care is coordinated as appropriate. Elective Angiograms are available.
St. Elizabeth's Medical Center is proud to be certified as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, and to have received the American Heart Association’s GoldPlus Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the best care.