Our emergency room provides real-time stroke knowledge through the telestroke network of the National Brain Aneurysm Center at HealthEast/St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul. May is recognized as Stroke Awareness Month and the telestroke program at GFMHM saves time that might be spent transporting patient. When treatment begins sooner, stroke patients have a better chance at surviving, with fewer long-term side effects. When a patient with possible stroke symptoms arrives at the ER, a brain scan is immediately taken. The on-call provider calls neurologists and use videoconferencing technology to examine the patient, confirm diagnosis, interpret brain images and provide recommendations to ER physicians, just as if the specialists were at GFMHM. If you think that someone may be having a stroke you can use this simple test from the National Stroke Association, called ACT FAST to determine signs and symptoms:
F= Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
A=Arm. Ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S=Speech. Ask them to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can they repeat the sentence?
T=Time. If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 or get to GFMHM fast!
Anyone can have a stroke, but certain behaviors and medical conditions can increase your chances. Fortunately, anyone can take steps to lower their risk. This program can help you get the best treatment with the best outcomes. They can save your life!