Baptist offers stroke services throughout the Mid-South
Strokes often occur without warning, and they can happen to anyone. Baptist’s Brain & Spine Network offers a full range of stroke services to quickly treat and minimize the effects of a stroke, with many convenient locations throughout Eastern Arkansas, West Tennessee, and North and Central Mississippi.
What is a stroke?
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of disability in American adults. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is either blocked by an obstruction or interrupted as a result of a ruptured blood vessel. When this happens, brain cells begin to die in minutes, and the subsequent brain damage often leads to disability or death.
There are three kinds of strokes:
An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, and it occurs when one of the blood vessels supplying the brain is narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits that build up in the blood vessels, or by clots or other debris that lodge in the blood vessels in the brain.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs with a blood vessel in the brain leaks or bursts, and is often associated with high blood pressure, excessive blood thinners, trauma or the result of an ischemic stroke.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a ministroke, is a temporary disruption of blood supply to the brain due to a blockage or clot. Having a TIA means you may have an increased risk for a full-blown ischemic stroke.
What are the symptoms of a stroke?
Stroke symptoms include slurring of speech, paralysis or numbing, problems seeing out of one or both eyes, disorientation, dizziness and headache. A stroke is a medical emergency, and every minute that passes can make a significant difference in the long-term prognosis of someone experiencing one. However, quick action can reduce the impact of a stroke and reduce the damage to the brain. If you suspect someone is suffering a stroke, just remember to B.E. F.A.S.T.
BALANCE: Is the potential stroke victim unsteady?
EYES: Does the person have a vision problem in one or both eyes?
FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?
ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one side drift downward?
SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is it slurred or strange?
TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
What are the risk factors for a stroke?
You cannot control some stroke risk factors, such as:
- Age – People older than 55 are more likely to have a stroke than younger people
- Race – African Americans are at greater risk than people of other races.
- Gender – Strokes occur in men more often than women.
However, you can minimize a number of risk factors with a change in lifestyle. These factors include:
- A high-fat diet
- Lack of regular exercise
- Heavy and binge drinking
- Cigarette smoking
- Drug use
Other medical factors you can control with your doctor’s help include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or atrial fibrillation
- A personal or family history of stroke, heart attack, or transient ischemic attack
- COVID-19 infection
How are strokes treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of the stroke and the condition of the patient. They include emergency IV treatment to remove clots and restore blood flow; endovascular procedures, including the insertion of a stent or the delivery of medicine directly to the brain; or surgery to repair blood vessels and reduce pressure on the brain.
The stroke specialists at Baptist Brain & Spine Network work in collaboration with Baptist-affiliated neurologists and neurosurgeons to diagnose and treat strokes quickly and minimize their impact so our patients have the best chance to recover fully and return to their normal lives as soon as possible. In fact, Baptist is an established leader when it comes to positive patient outcomes.
How does Baptist diagnose and treat stroke emergencies?
When a patient arrives in our emergency department with neurological symptoms, our team will immediately assess their condition. If a Stroke Neurologist is not immediately available at the hospital, we then use a video communication technology called Teleneurology, which gives us 24/7 access to a specially-trained stroke neurologist who provides consultation from an off-site location.
The remote physician is on the video within 5 minutes to help provide a diagnosis, oversee the administration of medicines, develop a plan of care, and recommend transferring the patient to a higher level of care, if necessary.
We do all this because early intervention gives our patients the best possible chance for a better long-term recovery.
Stroke-ready facilities in the Mid-South
If you are experiencing any stroke related symptoms, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
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