The topic today in Neighborhood Health Watch covers the signs of stroke and treatment options.
A stroke is a medical emergency and immediate medical help is crucial to a person's recovery and survival. Most strokes are a clot in the blood vessel in the brain that causes a lack of oxygen and other nutrients to the brain.
Early action can reduce the damage a stroke causes to the brain and potential complications. There's good news to report. Fewer people die of stroke now than in the past.
Dr. Alan Schulman with Henrico Doctors' Hospital says more patients and their families know how to recognize the signs of stroke. In addition, there are also two types of treatment that doctors are giving patients much earlier.
Dr. Schulman breaks down two specific treatment options for us.
"IVTPA, which is a clot buster drug which helps dissolve clots in the brain during a stroke. We've had that for over 20 years, but like I said, we're using it much more. In many people, we can use it up to four-and-a-half hours, but the earlier that we treat people often the better they do.
"We've also had a procedure called Mechanical Thrombectomy for many years, but we're using that much more. That's when a doctor inserts a catheter into the groin. It goes all the way up to the brain and helps remove the clot."
A quick way to recognize the signs of stroke - just remember the acronym FAST: Facial drooping. Arm weakness, Speech disturbance and T for Time…to call 911 immediately.