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When to go to the ER for a stroke

If someone you know is showing signs of a stroke, you need to act immediately.

When it comes to a stroke, time equals brain cells. The longer a stroke goes unnoticed, the more brain cells die and that can often lead to irreversible effects.

Knowing the signs and symptoms, as well as when it’s time to go to the ER can save someone from damaging effects and often times, death.

stroke patient

Act F.A.S.T

A stroke can be something hard to pinpoint at first, but noticing the signs early can benefit your loved one the most. If you think they might be having a stroke, follow a simple test known as the F.A.S.T test.

  • Face: Ask them to smile and look for one side of the face to droop
  • Arms: Ask them to lift their arms and look for one arm to lower
  • Speech: Say a phrase for them to repeat and be aware of strange or slurred speech
  • Time: If they are unable to successfully complete any of the above commands, it’s time to call 9-1-1 immediately

Make sure you keep track of the time. Documenting the time when symptoms first appeared and when they worsened (if applicable) can help the emergency team provide a treatment plan that will be the most effective for where they are at in the stroke.

The two types of strokes

There are two types of strokes, and both are treated very differently.

Ischemic stroke

An ischemic stroke is when a blood clot is blocking a blood vessel in the brain. This type is most common in those who have suffered from a stroke.

Hemorrhagic stroke.

A hemorrhagic stroke is when a weakened blood vessel in the brain ruptures. A ruptured blood vessel can be caused from high blood pressure, aneurysms, etc.

When you arrive at the ER, the first plan of action will be to determine what kind of stroke you or your loved is suffering from. A blood thinner will be given to those experiencing an ischemic stroke because it will dissolve the blood clot that is causing the blockage.

A blood thinner should not be given to someone experiencing a hemorrhagic stroke because it will cause the weakened blood vessel to bleed even more and can lead to a severe brain bleed. The difference in the stroke can be all the difference in the world when it comes to the treatment plan.

Call 9-1-1

Signs of a stroke should not be taken lightly. If you notice someone showing signs of a stroke, a countdown to their care has begun.

By calling 9-1-1, not only are ambulances able to skip traffic when time matters, but they are also able to evaluate the symptoms and the severity of the stroke to better prepare the emergency team and doctor when arriving at the hospital. Time matters in a stroke case. Always call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.

Logansport Memorial’s telehealth stroke program

When time is not on your side, it’s essential that you get care that’s close to home. Here at Logansport Memorial Hospital, we are prepped with advanced technology to help our stroke patients receive faster and better care. Through our telehealth stroke program, neurologists from St. Vincent Kokomo will provide feedback in real time, right here.

The neurologists view your CAT scan as it’s happening, which allows them to better understand symptoms you or your loved one is experiencing. They use these insights to answer questions about what’s happening and make a customized plan for next steps.

Having a neurologist from the start to assess what’s happening provides the patient with a faster diagnosis and treatment plan including determining the kind of stroke that’s happening, the correct and particular medications, and speed up the care team’s ability to locate and dissolve the clot.

Our emergency care team uses this technology for faster care and overall better care for our patients. If someone you know is experiencing any symptoms of a stroke, stay local and take advantage of our hospital’s cutting-edge level of care. When time really matters, our care team at Logansport Memorial will be ready to help.

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TOPICS: Neurology, Health