A stroke can quickly change life forever. And, it can happen at any age. With a number of primary stroke centers and a comprehensive stroke center, the hospitals of Lutheran Health Network are ready to provide the crucial care needed when stroke strikes.
Stroke symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions. Protect yourself and others – learn the signs of stroke and how to reduce the risks.
Brain damage can start within minutes of a stroke. Recognizing symptoms and calling 911 immediately may mean:
- The difference between short-term and permanent disability
- Less chance of brain damage
- Greater chance for a full recovery
Symptoms can vary, depending on the type of stroke and its severity. Strokes usually happen suddenly, but it may take hours to notice symptoms. Mild weakness may become paralysis on one side of the body. Small strokes over time may lead to balance, thinking and behavioral changes.
Remember BE FAST*:
B = Balance: Sudden loss of balance
E = Eyesight: Blurred, double vision or no vision in one or both eyes
F = FACE: Face looks uneven; one side droops when smiling
A = ARMS: When both arms are raised, one drifts down
S = SPEECH: Trouble speaking or confusion; unable to repeat a simple phrase)
T = TIME: Call 911 if you observe or experience any of these signs
Reduce Your Risk of Stroke
Knowing your risk factors for stroke and changing your lifestyle can save your life. The risk assessment scorecard provides a quick snapshot of your risks and suggestions on ways to lower those risks before stroke strikes.
Some risk factors - age, past strokes and family history of stroke – can't be controlled, but other factors can. Take charge to reduce your risks:
- Know and control your blood pressure.
- Ask your doctor to check for atrial fibrillation.
- If you smoke or use other forms of tobacco, stop!
- If you are diabetic, follow your doctor's recommendations carefully to control your diabetes.
- Lower the sodium (salt) and fat in your diet.
- Include exercise in your daily routine and maintain a healthy weight.
- Control high cholesterol.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors and personal goals for healthy living.
*BE FAST was developed by Intermountain Healthcare, as an adaptation of the FAST model implemented by the American Stroke Association. Reproduced with permission from Intermountain Healthcare. Copyright 2011, Intermountain Healthcare.
Advanced Certification as Primary Stroke Center
- Bluffton Regional Medical Center
- Dukes Memorial Hospital
- Kosciusko Community Hospital
- St. Joseph Hospital
Comprehensive Stroke Center
CARF-Accredited Stroke Rehabilitation Program