MAKING STRIDES AGAINST STROKE
At Reading Hospital, we know every second counts when you’re having a stroke. That’s why we utilize rapid response treatment to minimize the chance of permanent damage and offer the greatest chance for a full recovery. As an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, we administer life-saving tPA to break up blood clots quickly — and our nationally recognized stroke specialists have the expertise to treat even the most complex stroke patients. So whenever stroke strikes, you will always receive the most timely, advanced care in the region.
Am I at Risk for Stroke?
According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), 80% of all strokes are preventable. Knowing, understanding and managing what puts you at risk will decrease your chances of experiencing a stroke. These key risk factors include:
• Your age, sex and race – Women, people over the age of 55 and African-Americans have a higher stroke risk1
• Family history – If your parent, grandparent, sister or brother has experienced a stroke1
• Smoking – Nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke can damage the cardiovascular system, leading to stroke1
• High blood pressure and/or cholesterol – High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, and high cholesterol can cause blood clots that lead to stroke1
• Diabetes – Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure and cholesterol, and while these conditions are treatable, they still increase your risk1
• Heart disease – People with coronary heart disease or heart failure are at higher risk of stroke than people with healthy hearts1
• If you’ve had a prior stroke
• If you experience TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) – Sometimes called “mini-strokes,” where signs and symptoms occur, but go away within a short period of time
• Carotid bruit – An abnormal sound heard through a stethoscope that indicates a partially blocked carotid artery
1 American Stroke Association; Understanding Stroke Risk
B.E.F.A.S.T. if You Notice These Symptoms
Receiving treatment at Reading Hospital’s Advanced Primary Stroke Center as soon as possible from the start of your symptoms can greatly reduce the risk of permanent damage from stroke. And remembering to B.E.F.A.S.T. can help you save precious seconds that can significantly impact outcomes. Being able to recognize these key symptoms in others is crucial:
• Balance – Does the person have a sudden loss of balance?
• Eyes – Has the person lost vision in one or both eyes?
• Face – Does the person’s face look uneven?
• Arms – Is one arm (or leg) hanging down? Or weak?
• Speech – Is the person’s speech slurred? Does the person have trouble speaking or seem confused?
• Time – Call 9-1-1 now!
Remember: Stroke is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 even if these symptoms go away.