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Oak Hill Hospital Urges Community to be Aware of Stroke Symptoms During May, National Stroke Awareness Month

May 14, 2012

Spring Hill, Florida – May is National Stroke Awareness month. In order to help the community understand the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States, Oak Hill Hospital continues to make the community aware of the risk factors and signs of stroke.

“Time is crucial in the treatment of stroke, as on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke,1” said Cathy Edmisten, hospital Director of Emergency Services. “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.”2

Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes. 3

Oak Hill Hospital says that If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST – F-A-S-T.

  • F is for Face - is your face drooping?
  • A is for Arms – can you lift both arms?
  • S is for Speech – are you slurring your words?
  • T is for Time, CALL 9-1-1 immediately because with stroke, time is brain.

The primary stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially 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

About Stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States.1 According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, and 87 percent of these are ischemic strokes.1 An acute ischemic stroke occurs when an obstruction, such as a blood clot, blocks blood flow to the brain. The obstruction deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, destroying valuable nerve cells in the affected area within minutes. The resulting damage can lead to significant disability including paralysis, speech problems and emotional difficulties.

Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, can also help reduce your stroke risk.

For more information about stroke, visit www.strokeawareness.com.

Recently Oak Hill Hospital announced that its Advanced Primary Stroke Center was again awarded accreditation by the Joint Commission. A survey was conducted in March 2012 by the Joint Commission’s Program for Disease Specific Care Certification. Oak Hill Hospital passed the survey with no recommendations for improvement.

“This is another objective indication of the high quality of services that are provided by Oak Hill Hospital to the communities we serve,” said Oak Hill Hospital’s CEO, Mickey Smith.

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