Stroke symptoms should never be ignored
Editor’s note: The monthly To Your Heath column is a venue for Jefferson County Health Center to provide health information that will benefit The Fairfield Ledger’s readers. To suggest ideas for future articles or to obtain information, call Jefferson County Health Center community relations manager Ginny Hughes at 469-4198.
Many people hesitate before they come to the Emergency Department but there are certain symptoms I want to make sure you never ignore or delay getting treatment for. When you have symptoms of a stroke, you must react quickly. We would rather have you come in for a false alarm, then to have you take the chance of suffering some form of permanent disability due to a stroke.
If you have any of the following symptoms, note the time of day, and then go immediately to the nearest hospital Emergency Department. You can remember these by the acronym F.A.S.T.:
• Facial drooping
• Arm weakness
• Speech difficulty
You need to be evaluated immediately to see if you are eligible for a TPA injection that can reverse the effects of a stroke in some patients. BUT you must come to the emergency room within the first 3 hours of the onset of symptoms. The sooner the better.
TPA has been available at the Jefferson County Health Center for the past 5 years. The use of this drug has changed the outcome for stroke victims and gives them a better chance of having less long lasting side effects.
Here is a recent testimonial from Linda Stallone, a Fairfield resident who recently suffered a stroke. “One evening during a yoga class I had a stroke that immobilized my right side and speech functions. My symptoms came on within one minute. Thanks to the quick response of my daughter and friends I was taken to the JCHC emergency department and administered the TPA drug. I was airlifted to Iowa City and spent two nights in the ICU. The results were nothing short of miraculous! What is miraculous is that my mobility is totally restored and when I tell people I recently had a stroke they can’t believe it. What I have been telling my friends and family is that you must keep your blood pressure in check and if it spikes or you have a severe headache, blurred or double vision or loss of vision, numbness, tingling, weakness, or paralysis on one side of your body, trouble walking, dizziness or confusion go immediately to the emergency room. The extraordinary medical professionals as at JCHC knew exactly how to take care of me. I have the highest praise for them treating me in such a fast efficient manner. When time was of the essence they worked like clockwork in getting me the drug that has changed my life.”
A stroke is very serious, but you can help yourself by getting treatment as soon as symptoms arise.
Staci Worley, BSN, is the assistant outpatient director for the emergency department at Jefferson County Health Center.