Emergency Stroke Care
When stroke happens, minutes matter. HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital follows rigorous national protocols to provide rapid response and treatment of stroke patients.
A stroke is an interruption in the blood flow to our brain from either a clot or a break in the blood vessel. It is critical for someone who is experiencing signs or symptoms of a stroke to be transported to the hospital by trained medical personnel immediately. Early recognition is key, and a stroke is a medical emergency.
Every minute matters during a stroke. HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital follows rigorous national protocols to provide rapid response and treatment of stroke patients. We’re proud to have been certified by DNV as a Primary Stroke Center and to have been recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for meeting the latest research-based standards for the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Quality Achievement Award.
What You Need to Know
Use the BE-FAST acronym to remember stroke warning signs. If you notice or experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
On average, every four minutes someone dies of stroke. When a stroke occurs, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it begins to die. Brain function, future abilities and life itself are threatened every minute a stroke goes untreated. Every minute the brain is without oxygen, 2 million brain cells die.
If you experience any of the signs or symptoms of a stroke listed below, don't take chances. Call 911.
B - Balance difficulty: Sudden loss of balance or coordination, weakness or dizziness
E - Eye changes: Sudden onset of vision changes in one or both eyes
F - Face drooping: Sudden onset of facial drooping, usually on one side
A - Arm weakness: Sudden weakness or numbness in the arm, leg or face, usually on one side of the body
S - Slurred speech: Sudden onset of trouble speaking or difficulty in understanding speech
T - Terrible headache: Sudden onset of severe headache with no known cause
- face and limb pain
- general weakness
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- a clot obstructing blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke)
- a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (hemorrhagic stroke)
- a temporary clot called a TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke.”
What you can’t control:
- Age—your chances of stroke go up as you age.
- Gender—men have a slightly higher risk than women.
- Race—African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American people are at higher risk for stroke.
- Family history—if an immediate family member has had a stroke, your risk increases.
What you can control:
- Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Having high blood pressure (hypertension) and abnormal cholesterol can increase your risk for stroke.
- Reducing stress
- Keeping your weight in control
- Reducing the amount of salt and fat in your diet
- Exercising more
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol and illegal drug use