Stroke Center Emergency Room: 10 Tips
Did you know that stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year- that’s 1 out of every 20 deaths This according to the CDC. The CDC also states that one person in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies every 4 minutes. Given that severity of its occurrence, rushing to an emergency room to receive treatment for a stroke is important. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when you walk into a Stroke Centre ER.
Know The Symptoms
Knowing the symptoms to give during triage if you drive a patient to hospital is essential. These symptoms will help your loved one receive treatment immediately. However, if an ambulance team, then they will detect and stabilize a patient before they arrive at FrontLine ER. Here are some of the symptoms associated with stroke:
Sudden weakness and paralysis in the face, arm, or leg
Sudden onset of double-vision, dimness or general loss of vision
Sudden speech difficulty
Sudden severe headache
Unexplained dizziness and loss of balance
In the Ambulance
If an ambulance picks you up at your home or workplace, there are several things to expect from the emergency medical personnel:
Placement on oxygen
Blood sugar assessment
Placement on a monitor
Plenty of questions to get information
Who Will Treat You?
There is always a stroke neurologist and emergency physician at FrontLine ER waiting to attend to your stroke issues. As you know, the ER operates 24 hours a day to ensure that you can receive treatment at any hour. Apart from the doctors, the imaging specialists, lab technicians, and nurses will aid in your treatment.
What Happens When You Arrive?
The stroke team swings into action as soon as they are notified that they have an incoming patient. As soon as you arrive at FronLine ER, an immediate neurologic history and physical examination is carried out. You or your loved one will be closely monitored for changes in blood pressure and brain activity. Elevated blood sugar and fever is immediately controlled. Elevated blood sugar will be treated because it is toxic to blood-deprived brain cells. The temperature is also stabilized because fevers increase the intensity of a stroke. If the patient is anemic, they are treated by providing more blood cells to increase oxygen delivery to the brain.
Be prepared to have some tests conducted if you are rushed into FrontLine ER with stroke symptoms. Laboratory studies such as CBC with platelet count and coagulation tests. You will also go through imaging for a CT angiogram and MR imaging to determine the type, cause, location and the severity of your stroke.
What Types of Stokes Exist?
There are two types of strokes. Ischemic strokes are those that result from blood clots. These are the most common types of strokes, which means that they ultimately kill more people. The second type is the hemorrhagic stroke which involves bleeding in the brain due to the burst of a blood vessel.
The ischemic stroke has two main types:
Thrombotic Strokes: These are strokes caused by a blood clot in an artery that blocks blood supply to a part of the brain. These blood clots may be a result of arteries damaged by arteriosclerosis, or plaque.
Embolic strokes: Caused by a clot that moves around. The clot may be formed in another part of your body, then moves and clogs an artery.
Hemorrhagic stroke also has two types:
Intracerebral hemorrhage: This is when bleeding occurs inside the brain
Subarachnoid hemorrhage: Bleeding occurs on the surface of the brain, between the brain and the skull. This space is called the subarachnoid space. The bleeding is caused by an aneurysm that has burst or an arteriovenous malformation (an AVM, a tangle of blood vessels that occurs when you are born).
Treatment and Care
The physician will decide on the most appropriate care for the patient. Ischemic strokes are treated with clot-busting treatments such as tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA). Other treatments include surgery and interventional neuroradiology. Hemorrhagic stroke includes general medications and surgery. Treatments are done in consultation with a neurologist or neurosurgeon is necessary to ensure proper treatment.
How Long Before Discharge
Most people stay in the hospital for 3-6 days after having an ischemic stroke. However, hemorrhagic stroke victims may stay longer. The duration of stay mostly depends on:
If surgery was needed
If the cause of stroke is known
If more therapy is required.
What to Carry
FrontLine ER will ensure that you and your loved ones receive proper care. You can, however, bring them personal item to make their stay more comfortable for faster recovery. Pictures of loved ones, a book to read to them, and your presence is an important part of any healing process.
Depending on the severity of your stroke, rehabilitation and constant monitoring is important. If the stroke affects your brain, you may have to go through physical activities to relearn independence. You will be advised to watch out for symptoms in case the stroke reoccurs.