• Lowering Your Risk for a Second Stroke

    Did you know that about 185,000 of the 795,000 strokes that occur annually are recurrent strokes? In fact, about one-quarter of Americans who have a stroke will suffer at least one more in their lifetimes. Therefore, you should make your health a leading priority after a stroke so that you can ensure a longer life with better brain health. Below, you’ll see some of the best strategies for minimizing recurrent stroke risk following the first episode. If you have been hospitalized for a TIA, or transient ischemic attack, these tips can be helpful for you as well, since TIA is often a warning sign for stroke.

    Utilize hospital rehabilitation

    After emergency care at Regional Medical Center of San Jose , your doctor may recommend a rehabilitation program to help you get on track with your diet, physical activity, and ongoing healthcare. Rehabilitation can also help you tackle the challenges of stroke recovery such as impaired speech, diminished motor skills, and sensory disturbances.

    Control associated health risks

    Following a stroke, your relationship with your primary physician will be more important than ever. You’ll want to make sure that you see your doctor regularly for checkups to monitor cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. If you have conditions such as atrial fibrillation or diabetes, it is essential to get these under control so that you are not as likely to suffer a second stroke.

    Get physically active

    An active lifestyle is integral for stroke prevention, because exercise helps to keep your blood pressure in check, reduce weight gain, and control the symptoms of diabetes. Recent studies have indicated that exercising five or more times per week for at least 30 minutes will significantly reduce the likelihood of a second stroke.

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose provides exceptional emergency and rehabilitative care for stroke as a Comprehensive Stroke Center with accreditation from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association . To learn more about how our services can keep you on track with your stroke prevention, call (888) 762-8881 today.

  • Exploring the Emergency Procedures for Stroke Treatment

    The outcome of a stroke is highly dependent on the emergency care provided for the episode, since permanent brain damage will continue to take place until blood flow is effectively restored in the brain. There are two different types of stroke that will determine what type of care is needed, and Regional Medical Center is fully equipped to take on both hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke cases as a Comprehensive Stroke Center serving the San Jose community. This article will walk you through the different procedures that may be necessary for emergency stroke treatment for you or a loved one.

    Clot-busting medications

    In the case of ischemic stroke, which is caused by a clot in the arteries of the brain, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) will be administered to break up the clots and restore blood flow. This type of clot busting medication is only effective when it is given within 4 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Otherwise, antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications will be given to restore adequate blood flow in the arteries.

    Carotid endarterectomy

    Similar to treatment for a heart attack, carotid endarterectomy will reopen a blocked carotid artery with a catheter fed through the groin. This procedure is typically appropriate for patients who have a preexisting diagnosis of carotid artery disease.

    Emergency surgery

    When a hemorrhagic stroke has taken place, treatment will require a surgical approach. Hemorrhagic stroke takes place when an aneurysm ruptures or there is some other type of damage to one of the small arteries in the brain. Surgery such as coil embolization and arteriovenous malformation repair will stop the bleeding and restore healthy blood flow.

    Because Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a Comprehensive Stroke Center , we have full surgical capabilities to address all cases of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke with improved long-term outcomes and reduced fatalities. To learn more about the symptoms of stroke and appropriate emergency procedures, give us a call at (888) 762-8881 and speak with one of our registered nurses.

  • What Happens When Someone Goes into Cardiac Arrest?

    Cardiac arrest is a frequently misunderstood condition, because people often mistake cardiac arrest for a heart attack. While a heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is cut off, cardiac arrest takes place when the heart stops due to a malfunction of the heart’s electrical system. Death can occur quickly with cardiac arrest, though the right emergency response may help restore the heartbeat and facilitate a long-term recovery. This article will take a closer look at cardiac arrest to help you stay prepared when this sudden, serious condition arises.

    Understanding the heart’s electrical system

    The heart is a muscle that functions involuntarily due to constant electrical signals from the central nervous system. When the heart’s electrical signals are disrupted, the heart may stop beating, requiring immediate resuscitation. People who are at high risk for cardiac arrest are those who have suffered a heart attack or other cardiac episode, individuals who take medication for heart disease, or those who have blood vessel abnormalities. Recreational drug use may also cause cardiac arrest, even in patients without preexisting cardiovascular conditions.

    Recognizing cardiac arrest

    The leading sign for cardiac arrest is a sudden loss of responsiveness. There may be no prior warning signs, and the individual may not be breathing after cardiac arrest takes place. If you suspect that someone is suffering from cardiac arrest, you should call 911 and use hands-only CPR until breathing is restored or a paramedic arrives on the scene.

    Designing a long-term treatment plan

    The prognosis for sudden cardiac arrest survivors can vary significantly, depending on the follow-up care that patients receive. In the video above, you can hear how Regional Medical Center of San Jose helped one patient move forward from cardiac arrest with the advanced technology of a wireless heart defibrillator.

    For a closer look at the advanced cardiovascular care you can expect with Regional Medical Center, visit our website or call us at (888) 762-8881. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists is on-call 24/7, so we can always provide the immediate, exceptional care needed for cardiac episodes in San Jose.

  • A Look at the Link Between Brain Aneurysm and Stroke

    Within the brain tissue, there are many small blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood throughout the brain to support proper function. Through time, areas of these blood vessels may develop abnormal enlargements called aneurysms, which may have the potential for serious damage to the brain with a wide range of symptoms and the risk for hemorrhagic stroke. This article will offer a detailed look at brain aneurysms and their relationship to hemorrhagic stroke, which accounts for about 30% of all stroke deaths in the United States.

    What are brain aneurysms?

    Aneurysms tend to develop in areas of the arteries where there is a branching point with increased pressure from constant blood flow. The aneurysm itself is a weakened area of the blood vessel that enlarges like a balloon, becoming increasingly weaker as it is stretched further. In some cases, aneurysms will go completely undetected, because they will remain small and not cause any symptoms. Larger aneurysms may lead to a wide range of symptoms, depending on their location.

    How are aneurysms diagnosed?

    There are two special imaging procedures that may identify aneurysms when symptoms such as localized headaches, changes in vision, numbness of the extremities, or seizures. Computed tomographic angiography and magnetic resonance angiography each provide detailed imaging of the blood vessels in the brain to spot areas of weakness. These tests may be followed by a diagnostic cerebral angiogram, which will provide a more definitive diagnosis.

    When can an aneurysm cause a stroke?

    If a brain aneurysm ruptures, it might result in direct damage to the brain during hemorrhagic stroke. The immediate treatment for this condition is surgery to cut off the aneurysm and stop bleeding into the brain tissue.

    As a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, Regional Medical Center of San Jose is fully equipped to treat aneurysms and hemorrhagic stroke in our ER, which consistently maintains some of the lowest wait times in Santa Clara County. To learn more about us or get updated with the current wait times in our ER, give us a call 24/7 at (888) 762-8881.