Toms River, N.J., May 14, 2009 – Stroke is
the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading
cause of serious, long-term disability. The Primary Stroke Center
at Community Medical Center reminds people that knowing the symptoms
of stroke and acting quickly can make the difference between life
“Stroke symptoms may often be minimized and possibly reversed
if treatment is delivered early,” said Christine Donnelly,
RN, Director of Patient Care at Community Medical Center. “Studies
have shown that clot-busting drugs delivered within the first three
hours may be effective in limiting the debilitating effects of
stroke. Patients must recognize warning signs and call 911 immediately.”
For those who suspect someone is having a stroke, remember the
F = Facial weakness; ask the person to smile to test for
A = Arm weakness, ask the person to hold their arms straight
out if front of them to see if one drifts.
S = Speech disturbance; ask the person to say a simple
sentence (the cow jumped over the moon) to see if they are able
to understand and repeat it
T = Time to call 911.
Strokes do not discriminate, and although some people are at higher
risk than others due to lifestyle and family history, anyone can
have a stroke. Treatable risk factors include hypertension, diabetes,
high cholesterol and heart problems. People often wait to see if
their symptoms will go away and unwittingly put them selves in
great danger, Donnelly said. Symptoms that last for only a few
minutes and then subside may still indicate a transient ischemic
attack (TIA) or “mini stroke.”
On Tuesday, May 26, Community Medical Center will be holding
a Neuroscience Fair in the Outpatient Lobby from 9 a.m. to 2
p.m. The public is invited to stop by to learn more about stroke
and the neurosciences. Participants can receive free blood pressure
and glucose screenings, learn about the Center for Sleep Disorders
at Community Medical Center, rehabilitation services, the emergency
department and more.
In 2007, Community Medical Center was designated a Primary Stroke
Center by the Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of
Health and Senior Services. Only facilities that adhere to very
stringent requirements achieve this designation.
As a Primary Stroke Center, patients who present to Community
Medical Center’s Emergency Department with signs and symptoms
of a stroke are immediately placed into the hospital’s Rapid
Stroke Assessment program. Under the guidelines of the program,
potential stroke patients are taken to a rapid assessment area
within the ED that was designated specifically for stroke and heart
attack patients. In this area, tests are performed and results
are received quickly.
Patients receive an immediate medical and nursing assessment,
CT scans, blood tests and ECG, an intravenous line and certain
medications. These protocols have been shown to be extremely beneficial
in quickly identifying a stroke, and even prevent ones that are
about to occur.
In addition, certain radiologic tests such as a
CTA and MRI scan may be conducted.
For more information on stroke, or referral to a physician, call
Community Medical Center at 1-888-724-7123 or visit www.barnabashealth.org.
[ top ]