As a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., stroke prevention should be a priority for everyone. Management of medical risk factors and healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce a patient’s risk of stroke; however, it’s also important to know how to recognize the signs of stroke to facilitate emergency stroke care. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our stroke care team is always available to provide life-saving interventions.
Identifying the Importance of Rapid Intervention
Stroke most often occurs when a blood clot obstructs the flow of oxygenated blood to an area of the brain. When deprived of oxygen, the brain tissue begins to die rapidly. Restoring blood flow to the brain as quickly as possible gives the patient the best chance of survival. However, there’s another good reason to call 911 immediately upon noticing the signs of stroke. Stroke caused by blood clots is treatable with clot-busting medications. These medications may only be administered within four-and-one-half hours of the onset of symptoms. When the medications are delivered even sooner than this, the stroke patient has a greatly reduced chance of suffering lifelong disability. According to a study highlighted by the American Heart Association (AHA), patients who suffered mild to moderate strokes displayed little to no disability three months afterward when they were given clot-busting medications within 90 minutes of experiencing symptoms.
Understanding the Risk of Long-Term Disability
Stroke recovery is a lifelong process. The types of disabilities a stroke survivor may depend on the area of the brain that was affected by the stroke. It is not uncommon for stroke survivors to suffer from severe communication impairments, difficulty swallowing, paralysis, memory loss, cognitive impairment, chronic pain, and emotional and behavioral changes. Calling 911 immediately when a stroke occurs may give patients the best chance of maintaining quality of life and independence.
Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center that is dedicated to saving lives by implementing our Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME) program to connect critical patients with the stroke care they need. San Jose residents are urged to call 911 immediately if they think they or someone else might require stroke care. For non-emergent inquiries about our stroke care, heart health services, robotic surgery, breast care, or other medical services, you can contact a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.