Stroke--Time is of the Essence
Posted: Apr 06, 2021
Every 40 seconds someone in the United States of America suffers from a stroke according to the CDC website. When it comes to stroke, time is of the essence. It is the number one most important variable. Knowing the warning signs for stroke is important for seniors and their caregivers and families. Chances of survival increase as response time decreases. Stroke causes more long-term disabilities than any other disease. Those who were treated within three hours of the onset of symptoms had a significantly better chance of a future without dysfunction.Why are strokes time-sensitive?
There are two main reasons that strokes are time-sensitive. The first is because there is a treatment only able to be given within a certain window of time. Depending on the type of stroke the treatment must be administered between three-four hours of symptoms. The second reason is related to long-term side effects. Strokes directly affect the brain and can permanently damage cognitive function. When someone is having a stroke, blood flow is cut off from the brain. Knowing this, it makes sense that the acronym for stroke symptoms is "be fast."What are the warning signs of stroke?
F- facial drooping
A sudden loss of balance, loss of vision in one or both eyes could be indicators for stroke. Facial drooping can be tested with a smile. One arm may be weak or numb, trouble speaking or confusion, as well as slurred speech, are also telltale signs of stroke. If you see any or multiple of these signs, call 911 immediately. Remember, time is of the essence!
Location of Facility
Sometimes, even when we are well educated about stroke and respond quickly, disability still follows. Many who suffer a stroke end up in a facility at least for a time. The risk of suffering another stroke is much higher once an individual has had one. You would be wise to consider location when choosing a facility for a loved one. The Gables of Idaho Falls is only 2.5 miles and a five-minute drive from Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. The Emergency Room at this hospital was recently presented with an award for their stroke response time. Not only will being in close proximity to a hospital benefit you or your loved one, but the staff at the Gables will be trained to identify signs of stroke and will call an ambulance. If a loved one is suffering from a stroke and lives alone they may not be able to drive themselves to the hospital or call for help.Long-term Effects
Stroke can have physical side effects such as limited function in the limbs, trouble swallowing, and vision to name a few. Because a stroke kills brain cells at an alarming rate, cognitive decline is a common side effect of stroke. One of the most common side effects is communication. Speech difficulties could be short or long term, and a neurologist should be able to identify if there is hope for recovery after a severe stroke or whether all brain activity has ceased. Depending on what part of the brain the bleed occurs, behavior may be impacted. Behavior may also be affected because of frustration with the other physical and cognitive disabilities mentioned previously.
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