Nurses and healthcare professionals at Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth, N.J., joined in the observance of World Stroke Day Oct. 29 to call attention to what can be a life-altering or fatal health emergency.
Trinitas ED team members modeled the iconic happy face yellow T-shirts that, in this case, showed a slightly drooping smile to emphasize one of the most noticeable signs of stroke.
Stroke symptoms are summed by the acronym FAST, according to the American Stroke Association. The acronym refers to Face drooping, followed by Arm weakness, then Speech abnormalities. Stroke leaves little Time for hesitation since approximately 2 million brain cells die every minute a stroke goes without treatment.
Debbie Milkosky, BSN, RN, coordinator of the stroke education program at Trinitas, stressed the importance of excellent patient care.
Since Trinitas was designated a primary stroke center in 2009, we have redoubled our efforts to treat those who suffer stroke, she said in a news release. Our emergency medicine physicians, neurologists and highly trained nurses and radiologists assess and treat stroke patients rapidly as a means of minimizing the effects of stroke.
Milkosky said treatment for stroke must begin within the very critical four and a half hours from the onset of symptoms.
(Treatment) happens so rapidly because every minute counts in reducing brain damage, she said.
The CDC reports that of the 795,000 people who suffer stroke each year, 610,000 are first or new strokes, while 185,000 are recurrent strokes. The disability caused by stroke, according to the CDC, costs the nation $38.6 billion annually in healthcare services, medication and lost productivity.
Data, according to the Stroke Awareness Foundation, show that 80% of all strokes are preventable. However, uncontrollable risk factors of heredity, age, gender and ethnicity remain key factors that can lead to stroke.