Every 43 seconds, someone suffers a stroke — an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Because stroke injures the brain, you or the people around you may think a stroke victim is just confused. That’s why everyone should know the signs of stoke and know how to act quickly.
Don’t wait for symptoms to improve or worsen. If you believe you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 911 immediately. Calling 911 quickly can make the difference in avoiding a lifelong disability.
Suburban Hospital's 24-Hour Stroke Team
The good news about stroke is that many victims now recover completely if treated promptly. As a certified Primary Stroke Center, Suburban Hospital offers treatments to reduce the damage caused by a stroke. But you must arrive at the hospital as soon as possible. Timing is critical!
The Suburban Hospital Stroke Program incorporates a rapid-response medical team that is highly trained in the newest, most effective diagnostic and treatment procedures. As soon as a stroke patient arrives at Suburban Hospital, this multidisciplinary team promptly goes into action to confirm the diagnosis, identify the type of stroke and quickly initiate an optimal treatment plan.
The cornerstone of the Suburban Hospital Stroke Program — combines the world-class research capabilities of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), with more than 65 years of clinical excellence at a hospital known for providing great medicine in a community setting. The result is one of the most advanced stroke treatment programs anywhere.
This collaborative effort was the first acute stroke treatment program in Montgomery County to receive certification as a Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission. More recently, The Suburban Hospital Stroke Program was named a specialty referral center for stroke by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.
Get more information about the Suburban Hospital Stroke Program.
What Is a Stroke?
There are two major types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are the most common, accounting for 80 percent of all strokes. They result from a blockage of blood flow to the brain, usually caused by a clot. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel bursts, creating bleeding within or around the brain. Both kinds of stroke quickly rob brain cells of oxygen-carrying blood, and body functions controlled by those cells are damaged or permanently lost.
Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
Despite the fact that stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability, fewer than 20% of Americans can recognize the symptoms of stroke. Do you know these signs?
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, 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
If you or someone around you experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 and get to a hospital immediately. Every minute counts!
Are You at Risk for Stroke?
Stroke can affect anyone, but some people are more at risk. These risk factors include high blood pressure and high cholesterol, cigarette smoking and a history of heart disease and diabetes. Other factors that you cannot control include age, gender, ethnicity and heredity.
What Can You Do to Prevent a Stroke?
While family history of stroke plays a role in your risk, there are many risk factors you can control.
- If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to get it under control. Many people do not realize they have high blood pressure. High blood pressure usually causes no symptoms but is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Managing your high blood pressure is the most important thing you can do to avoid stroke.
- If you smoke, quit.
- If you have diabetes, learn how to manage it. As with high blood pressure, diabetes usually causes no symptoms but it increases the chance of stroke.
- If you are overweight, start maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
For More Information
These websites provide helpful guidance about stroke: