Prompt diagnostics and treatment critical for stroke sufferers
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently designated Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital as Primary Stroke Service hospitals. The designation signifies that the hospitals meet requirements to provide emergency diagnostic and therapeutic services by a multidisciplinary team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to patients with symptoms of acute stroke.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Few conditions can occur as rapidly and with as devastating consequences as stroke. Data from the American Stroke Association indicate that over 700,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke each year. Of these, about 500,000 are first attacks and 100,000 are recurrent attacks.
Yet about 4.5 million stroke survivors are alive today. The innovation of diagnostic technologies, advanced treatment techniques and improved management of stroke risk factors have created new hope for persons who have had a stroke or who are at risk of having a stroke.
How we can help
Our hospitals are dedicated to preventing, diagnosing and treating strokes, offering applications of the latest technology and medications while treating the stroke patient's entire needs. Care is coordinated from the first point of contact with the patient helping to stop the long-term effects of stroke.
Research is showing that treating a subset of patients with clot-busting drugs called thrombolytics may help in the treatment of acute stroke if administered within a three-hour window of the onset of symptoms. The first responders/EMTs know that patients will be evaluated for this ptentially life-saving treatment immediately upon arrival in our emergency departments.
Warning signs of a stroke include:
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Loss of vision or double vision
- Difficulty speaking or trouble understanding speech
- Severe headache with no known cause
- Unexplained dizziness or imbalance
If you experience symptoms of a stroke, dial 9-1-1.