Essentia health offers the highest level of stroke care
What do you do if you’re visiting over a cup of coffee with a loved one and you notice her face seems to be drooping on one side or her speech is suddenly slurred? Maybe she’s suddenly confused or has trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
These are a few symptoms of stroke and the sooner you recognize them and get help, the better her outcome will be. When dealing with a stroke, time is of the essence. To recognize symptoms and know what to do, remember the acronym, BE FAST.
A stroke affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs so it and brain cells die.
Identify & Assess
A call for a suspected or identified stroke activates a specialized team at Essentia Health-Fargo that begins to prepare for the patient’s arrival. Once the patient arrives, the stroke team is trained to rapidly assess symptoms and begin treatment. Speed and quality are the goals of stroke care, which aims to reduce neurological damage. Essentia Health was designated as the first certified comprehensive stroke center in North Dakota. An expert team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to offer comprehensive and advanced care to patients.
Essentia Health-Fargo’s team not only treats patients in Fargo but also serves patients brought to their local hospital’s emergency room. A telestroke program allows the local physician to quickly receive an expert video consultation. The stroke team is trained to offer the best care with advanced equipment that can provide minimally invasive procedures.
Treatment depends on the type of stroke. For some strokes, the focus is on restoring blood flow to the brain. This can be done with clot-busting drugs administered through an IV or a surgical procedure to remove the clot. In other types of stroke, the focus is on controlling bleeding, reducing the pressure in the brain and stabilizing vital signs such as blood pressure. The stroke team’s care continues after initial treatment. Once a patient is stable, work begins to prevent future strokes and plan for rehabilitation.
Support Groups for Patients & Families
A stroke is a life-changing event for survivors, family members and caregivers. That’s why Essentia Health offers a stroke support group to provide resources and information on stroke recovery. The support group can renew hope and independence and offer a way to meet others with similar challenges and experiences. It also offers resources and support to live an active and satisfying life while coping with losses and disabilities due to stroke.
The stroke support group meets at 3 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month at Essentia Health-Fargo, 3000 32nd Avenue South in Fargo.
For more information, call: 701-364-4398
The team of stroke experts at Essentia Health-Fargo
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