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Act Fast! Strokes Treatable if Caught Early
Strokes are the leading cause of disability and the fourth leading cause of death in America. In many cases, however, they don't have to be disabling or deadly. Knowing the warning signs of a stroke and acting quickly may help you or your loved one escape the damaging effects of a "brain attack." Treatments are now available that can help prevent a stroke.
Blood flow problems
Strokes are caused by problems with the circulation of blood in the brain. Blood circulation to the brain can be affected by either a hemorrhage, when a blood vessel bursts (hemorrhagic stroke), or a blockage, when a clot blocks the flow of blood (ischemic stroke).
When 1 of these problems occurs, a person may experience 1 or more symptoms that happen suddenly. The symptoms may continue or they may disappear within minutes to hours. Warning signs to be aware of include:
Numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs, often on 1 side of the body
Episodes of dizziness
Loss of vision in 1 eye or double vision
Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
Severe, sudden headache
It is very important to call 911 immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. Medications can be given in a hospital that can reverse the stroke, but they must be given within the first 3 hours of the onset of symptoms. Every minute counts.
Once warning symptoms are recognized, doctors can begin appropriate treatment. Treatments for strokes are very specific and depend on the type, size, and location of the blockage or disruption of blood flow in the brain. They may include the use of powerful drugs to dissolve brain clots or reduce and prevent hemorrhaging, or emergency surgical intervention may be necessary to stop bleeding into the brain. Quick action and early treatment can make a profound difference for a person's health.
Although anyone can have a stroke, certain factors can place a person at higher risk. These factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, family history of stroke, irregular heartbeat (particularly atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation), and a narrowing of the arteries. People with 1 or more risk factors should receive a stroke screening test from their health care provider. The screening can include a review of medical history, a physical exam, an ultrasound exam of the neck to detect blood flow disturbances in the carotid arteries, and blood tests for blood sugar and cholesterol levels (lipid profile).
Stroke prevention is also important. You can help prevent a stroke by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. Keep chronic health condition,s such as diabetes or high blood pressure, under control by taking your medications and getting regular checkups.
Staffed by board certified/board qualified emergency medicine physicians, nurses and support staff, the Emergency Department (ED) has over 60 treatment areas to provide privacy without compromising efficiency. Within the ED, 10 rooms are also dedicated to the treatment of noncritical care to "fast track" patients quickly. Upon arrival to the ED, patients can expect to be seen by a triage nurse to assess the medical condition, receive appropriate course of treatment by a specially trained physician, and upon discharge, be referred to a physician for follow- up medical care and/or be given care instructions.
Level I Trauma Center
One of the only three Level I Trauma Centers in South Florida, Broward Health Medical Center's state-accredited Trauma Center provides around-the-clock care for adult and pediatric trauma patients. The rooftop helipad allows trauma patients to be transported into the facility quickly to facilitate care during the first "golden hour" after a trauma. The Trauma Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with trauma surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, nurses and ancillary staff to perform immediate life-saving diagnostic and treatment procedures. [more...]
Certified Stroke Center
Recognized as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission's Certificate of Distinction, the Certified Stroke Center provides the services needed to achieve long-term success in improving patient outcomes by promoting advanced use of acute stroke therapies, a reduction in morbidity and mortality rates, fewer stroke complications, an improvement in long-term outcomes and efficiency of patient care as well as an increase in patient satisfaction. The Stroke Center has a comprehensive system in place for providing rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke to patients who are admitted to the Emergency Department. This includes being equipped 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide brain image scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate. [more...]
Pediatric Emergency Department
One of the only two Level I trauma centers in South Florida that specialize in pediatric care, the Pediatric Emergency Department is staffed with specially trained physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists. With the latest innovative technology to allow easier access and quicker results 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The unit is equipped with 12 treatment rooms for patients 17 years of age or younger. [more...]