Stroke, a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States, will affect more than 795,000 Americans this year alone.
“Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke,” said Srinath Kadimi, MD, board certified neurologist and medical director of the stroke unit at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.”
Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot (ischemic) or ruptures (hemorrhagic). When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes. “As the saying goes: Time lost is brain lost,” added Jennifer Nascimento, APRN, Stroke Coordinator at St. Vincent’s. “More of the brain can be saved if a stroke is detected and treatment is received immediately.”
“We have made progress over the past few decades” explained Dr. Kadimi.
“Stroke has moved down the list from the number three to the number
five killer in the United States. But tragically, it remains the number
one cause of adult disability – and time can change that.” Dr. Kadimi went on to explain that clot-buster drugs, which are given intravenously in the emergency room, must be administered within three hours for most stroke cases. These drugs not only save lives but can significantly reduce the potential damage and lasting effects for many patients.
The Cardinal Symptoms of Stroke
“We must educate ourselves, and our loved ones, to be on the lookout for
the cardinal symptoms of stroke,” added Dr. Kadimi. “These include
sudden weakness or numbness of one side of the body, sudden loss of communication or speech, sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, sudden loss of coordination or trouble walking, and sudden onset of severe headache. If you experience any of these symptoms, your first call should be to 911, and then inform your doctor or family member.”
The sooner you notice the signs of stroke and call 911, the better the
chance of recovery. Take a minute to learn how to act F.A.S.T. It’s an easy way to remember the signs of stroke.
To learn more about St. Vincent’s Primary Stroke Center of Excellence, go to stvincents.org/stroke. To speak directly with our Stroke Coordinator, call 475-210-5257.
"If you experience any of these symptoms, your first call should be to 911, and then inform your doctor or a family member.
Srinath Kadimi, MD
Neurologist / Faifield, Connecticut
It’s Stroke Awareness Month. When seconds count, can you spot a stroke? Take our quiz, test your knowlege, and share the health!
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