A stroke is a life-threatening condition. It can be life-altering for both the patient and their family. A stroke occurs when the brain doesn’t get the blood and oxygen it needs – resulting in brain damage. However, the level of damage can be lessened with timely and effective care. If you think you or a loved one may be having a stroke, head to your nearest south Johnson County emergency room right away.
As a Certified Primary Stroke Center, as designated by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Overland Park Regional Medical Center has specialized resources including expert neurologists, neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons, and are committed to best practices that deliver the highest quality care you and your loved ones deserve. That means that no matter where you are in the Johnson County, Kansas area, you are always close to quality and timely stroke treatment.
Signs of a Stroke
If you or a loved one show any of these symptoms call 911 right away. While a stroke usually occurs suddenly, it can also happen over several hours. You can even have several small strokes over time. As the stroke becomes more serious, signs can intensify.
1. Facial drooping
2. Blurry vision or a problem seeing
3. Trouble talking, confusion or difficulty understanding speech
4. An abrupt severe headache
5. Fainting or seizures (less common)
6. Arm weakness
7. Nausea or vomiting
8. Lack of sensation on one side of the body
9. Trouble walking or loss of balance
Steps for Fast Emergency Stroke Treatment
The most important aspect of effective stroke treatment is time – how quick physicians can start treatment. Unfortunately, many people take too long to seek care.
Know the Signs
As soon as stroke-like symptoms begin, don’t delay. It’s best to leave diagnosis to medical professionals with the proper training, experience and equipment.
Calling 911 instead of driving can save valuable time. Ambulances don’t get stuck in traffic. And emergency medical teams can start to get your medical history and begin assessment. EMS can also alert the stroke team at the hospital near you. That way when you reach the hospital, you are already steps ahead.
Seek Excellent Care Close to Home - Overland Park Regional Medical Center is a state designated Time Critical Diagnosis center for stroke. This means specialty-trained medical professionals are available 24-hours a day to quickly treat a stroke emergency. Our physicians, nurses and pharmacists are organized for a team response to strokes. We are home to Johnson County’s only Level II Trauma Center —designated by the state of Kansas. This designation recognizes Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s dedication to providing optimal care for sudden, life-threatening injuries. Our trauma center provides highly trained, board-certified physicians, specialists, critical care nurses and support staff who are available around the clock.
We also offer a telemedicine program that provides stroke patients throughout our rural communities with 24-hour access to experts and specialized services. A cutting-edge video conferencing system allows our stroke specialists to be “in the room” with patients and their physicians to assess and discuss diagnosis, care or transfer. This allows patients can stay close to home and family and only transfer when more specialized treatment is required.
Treatment of Ischemic Stroke
An ischemic stroke is when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain caused by a blocked or narrowed artery. About 87% of strokes are ischemic. The best treatment for an ischemic stroke is tPA, a clot-busting drug. But it must be administered within 3 to 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Unfortunately, some people are not candidates for this amazing drug due to various medical conditions. Physicians must evaluate a patient’s medical history and perform a CT scan before the drug can be given – more reasons head to the ER quickly.
Post Stroke Recovery
With a positive attitude, the right support system and professional assistance, many stroke survivors make major strides towards independence and regaining quality of life. Our stroke rehabilitation specialists can work with you or your loved one to recover lost function.