Peninsula Home Care Launches Stroke Awareness Campaign to Empower Effective ActionPublished on - May 3, 2018
Public Awareness of Signs and Symptoms of Stroke Remains Poor
SALISBURY, MD – Stroke occurs every 40 seconds, affecting almost 800,000 people in the Unites States each year. Yet, calling 911 within an hour of stroke onset is done fewer than 50% in reported cases. Many times individuals don’t even know they are calling about a stroke related event. Throughout May – Stroke Awareness Month, Peninsula Home Care is pushing for patients, families and caregivers to act without hesitation and seek treatment immediately.
“Recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke and taking immediate action can help prevent brain damage and long term disability,” said Nancy Bagwell, area director of operations, Peninsula Home Care. “We certainly don’t want patients or caregivers to wait to see if the symptoms go away. When it comes to stroke treatment, every minute counts.”
If someone shows signs of stroke, calling an ambulance (and not letting someone else drive you) allows medical personnel to begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. If the patient gets to the hospital within three hours of the first symptom of an ischemic stroke (accounts for 87% of all strokes) they may be given thrombolytic (tPA), a clot-busting drug, to break up blood clots. This significantly improves the chances of recovering from a stroke fully and lowering the risk of disability. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke right away and call 9-1-1.
Many people are familiar with the F-A-S-T signs of stroke. Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty and Time to call 911. There are many more signs to look for, especially when they strike suddenly and are out of the ordinary for the individual.
- Difficulty understanding
- Loss of balance
- Severe headache
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble walking
- Vision Changes
Risk factors are also critical components of stroke awareness. Some risk factors can be managed while others are uncontrollable.
Uncontrolled Risk Factors
- Age: Chances of stroke increase with age
- Race: African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders are at higher risk
- Gender: More women than men
- Family History
Manageable Risk Factors
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Poor circulation
Two Types of Stroke – One Common Risk Factor
Ischemic Stroke occurs when blood flow through an artery is blocked, which accounts for 87% of all strokes. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery ruptures, causing swelling, pressure and damage to the brain. High blood pressure is the most common risk factor for both types of stroke.
For more information on Stroke Awareness, please visit https://www.peninsulahomecare.com/live-well/phc-resource-library/stroke-prevention/ to Download the “Stroke Risk Scorecard”.
About Peninsula Home Care
Providing skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy for more than 30 years, Peninsula Home Care ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 50,000 patients in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties in Maryland and Sussex and Kent counties in Delaware. In 2017, PHC and PHCN were designated as Preferred Home Care Provider by Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Nanticoke Health Services.