If you suspect that you or someone you are with is experiencing a stroke, don’t wait – call 911! To combat stroke – the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability for all Americans – Norwegian American Hospital has established a comprehensive Stroke Program, in coordination with UI Health.
With the Telestroke Program at Norwegian American Hospital, patients arriving at the Emergency Department can be rapidly assessed by a stroke neurologist from UI Health via secure internet conferencing. This allows expert evaluation without waiting for a neurologist to be physically present in the ER.
Through the videoconference and advanced diagnostic tools, the UI Health neurologist sees and converses with the emergency physician and the patient in real time via laptop. The neurologist can examine the patient remotely, and can view the patient’s vital signs and CT scan.
Norwegian American Hospital is certified as a Primary Stroke Center from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP). Primary Stroke Certification serves as a notice that Norwegian American Hospital has the capacity to stabilize and treat acute stroke patients, provide acute care, and administer tPA and other acute therapies safely and efficiently. The primary stroke designation is considered the best signal to our community that the quality care the hospital provides is effectively managed to meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients.
On average, one American dies from a stroke every four minutes. Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65. The risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55. However, strokes can and do occur at any age.
If you see or have a one or more of these symptoms, don’t wait, call 911 right away! Patients who arrive at the emergency room within 3 hours of their first symptoms tend to have less disability three months after a stroke than those who received delayed care.
Following the F.A.S.T. acronym:
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: As the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Are You at Risk for a Stroke
Stroke prevention is still the best medicine. The most important treatable conditions linked to stroke are:
- High blood pressure –Treat it! Eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise to reduce blood pressure. Medication may also be required. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke.
- Cigarette Smoking – Quit it! There are lots of options to help you quit. The risk of ischemic stroke in current smokers is about double that of nonsmokers after adjustment for other risk factors.
- Heart Disease – Manage it! Your doctor can treat your heart disease and may prescribe medication to help prevent the formation of clots.
- Diabetes – Control it! Treatment can delay complications that increase the risk of stroke.
- Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) – Seek help! TIAs are small strokes that last for a few minutes or a few hours. They should never be ignored and can be treated with drugs or surgery.
Physician Referral and More Information
Norwegian American Hospital’s Physician Referral Service can help you find a physician who meets your needs. To find a physician, call 800-258-2723.