Advancing Stroke Care

Have you ever heard of a “brain attack”? That’s what happens when the blood supply is suddenly cut off from the brain.  Similar to a heart attack and more commonly known as a stroke, it leads to rapidly dying brain cells and an urgent need to act fast!

When a stroke happens, every second counts. That’s why we encourage everyone to be aware of the warning signs of stroke:

  • Sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you suspect that someone might be having a stroke, use the easy-to-remember “FAST” test:

FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does their face look uneven?

ARMS: Ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH: Ask them to repeat a simple phrase. Does their speech sound strange?

TIME: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call for help fast.  CALL 911!

What happens during a stroke is in many ways similar to what happens in a heart attack. Both involve a blockage of blood flow. Because of this similarity, controlling risk factors for heart disease will also help in the prevention of stroke.  It is important to reduce your risk of stroke.

If you or someone you know is at risk for stroke, you may be interested to know Alaska Regional Hospital is making a bigger difference in the lives of patients – and families – who are affected by a stroke.   Our stroke center is dedicated to minimizing the impact of stroke and other neurological conditions, and we were first in Alaska to earn Joint Commission certification.

From the emergency department, to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, we use the most advanced technology available combined with compassionate medical expertise so patients receive comprehensive care to aid in their recovery. By making the most of a small window of time, our caregivers will help more people to survive a stroke. And, a greater number of patients will enjoy a higher quality of life following a too-often-debilitating stroke.

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