Certified Primary Stroke Center
Rancho Springs Medical Center's multidisciplinary stroke team, which includes emergency personnel, neurologists, neurosurgeons and radiologists, are ready 24 hours a day to quickly respond to stroke emergencies and begin treatment. Services and treatments for patients are focused on stroke education, prevention and intervention and rehabilitation.
Rancho Springs is a Certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. This distinction recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care.
A stroke is what occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked or stopped. Within a few minutes of a stroke, brain cells begin to die. According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and can lead to long-term disability. Problems that can arise include weakness in an arm or leg after a small stroke to paralysis and loss of speech in larger strokes. This is why it's so important for someone who is having a stroke to get medical attention as quickly as possible. Stroke affects about one person every four minutes in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Stroke Types and Symptoms
There are two kinds of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. In ischemic stroke, the most common type, a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. In hemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into the brain. Symptoms of possible stroke include:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
- Difficulty with speaking or understanding speech
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause
If you or someone you're with has any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or get yourself or them to a hospital immediately. Staff in the emergency department will administer acute stroke medications to try to stop a stroke while it is happening. Ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, is treated with the 'clot-busting' drug known as tPA. The drug must be given to patients within three- to four-and-a-half hours after the onset of stroke symptoms, and preferably sooner.
Use the acronym FAST to quickly identify possible strokes:
The best way to keep your brain healthy is to avoid a stroke in the first place. The best ways to prevent stroke are to do the following:
- Keep your blood pressure controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medications
- Don't smoke or stop smoking
- Take steps to manage your cholesterol
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight