Long Branch, New Jersey ---- More than 3 million Americans today are living with the crippling effects of stroke — the No. 1 cause of disability in the United States. May is National Stroke Awareness Month and the Stroke Center at Monmouth Medical Center reminds people that knowing the symptoms of stroke and acting quickly can make the difference between life and death, for you or someone you know.
“Stroke symptoms may often be minimized and possibly reversed if treatment is delivered early,” says Martin Herman, MD, Medical Director of the Stroke Center and Chief of Neurology at Monmouth Medical Center. “Most strokes are caused when blood clots form or travel to a blood vessel in the brain and block blood flow to that area. For such strokes thrombolytic medication can be used to help dissolve the clot quickly,” says Dr. Herman. “Giving thrombolytics within three hours of the first stroke symptoms can help limit stroke damage and disability. In occasional, highly selected cases, the window can be extended to four-and-a-half hours, but it is always crucial to seek emergency care as soon as possible when experiencing symptoms of a stroke.”
According to Dr. Herman, the most commonly used drug for thrombolytic therapy is tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), and that the key to the safe and effective use of TPA therapy is completing the stroke evaluation and beginning treatment within three hours of symptom onset.
“If you or someone near you is exhibiting any sign of stroke, call 911. Transport by an ambulance is best for getting to the Emergency Room," says Dr. Herman. “Doing so allows emergency medical personnel the proper time to mobilize resources such as a CAT scan and the stroke team ahead of the patient’s arrival.”
People often wait to see if their symptoms will go away and unwittingly put themselves in greater danger. Symptoms that last for only a few minutes and then subside may indicate a transient ischemic attack or TIA.
“A TIA or ‘mini-stroke’ is a serious medical event and requires treatment; it is also a potential warning sign of more dangerous stroke in the future. Seeking medical care during a TIA may help physicians prevent future stroke,” explains Dr. Herman.
At Monmouth Medical Center, the Acute Stroke Team comprising a neurologist and specially trained registered nurse and internal medicine resident physician is available to respond to a Code Stroke 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. The Stroke Center provides a full continuum of care to stroke patients, following the “best practice” standards established by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association.
The Stroke Center at Monmouth Medical Center is dedicated to delivering comprehensive emergency and continued care to stroke victims, placing a major emphasis on stroke prevention and education.
For those who suspect someone is having a stroke, Dr. Herman advises the public to remember to Act “FAST.” Each one of the letters in FAST stands for a word which you can use to uncover a symptom of stroke.
F = Face; ask the person to smile. Does their face droop to one side?
A = Arms; Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech; Is their speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T = Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms call 911 or get to the hospital immediately
If you think you or a person with you is having a stroke DON’T WAIT, call 911 immediately.
STROKE AWARENESS & PREVENTION PROGRAM
Thursday, May 26 from 11 am to 1 pm
Join Neurologist Martin Herman, MD, Endocrinologist Sudha Ganne, MD, Registered Dietician Nanette DeLeon, RD from the Primary Stroke Center to discuss the signs and symptoms of stroke and what you can do to prevent one. The program will be held at Kensington Court, 864 Shrewsbury Ave in Tinton Falls. Light lunch will be provided. Registration is required by calling 1-888-724-7123, prompt #4
To learn more about The Stroke Center at Monmouth Medical Center, call 1-888-724-7123.
May 12, 2011
CONTACT: Carrie Cristello
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