These stroke tips from Pueblo’s Parkview Medical Center could save lives

A stroke victim undergoes rehabilitation with a physical therapist. May is National Stroke Awareness Month in the U.S.
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A stroke victim undergoes rehabilitation with a physical therapist. May is National Stroke Awareness Month in the U.S.

Someone in the United States suffers a stroke roughly every 40 seconds, Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo has said as the United States marks National Stroke Awareness Month in May. 

Parkview last year cared for 469 patients who had an ischemic stroke, caused by a blocked artery; hemorrhagic stroke, caused by a leaking blood vessel, or a transient ischemic attack, often called a TIA or mini-stroke, in which a person has symptoms like those of a stroke, lasting only a few minutes.

Throughout the month of May, the medical center is highlighting tests and care it provides to stroke patients, and educating Puebloans about the symptoms and causes of the leading cause of disability in the United States and a top cause of death.

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The medical center has a stroke care team that guides patients through tests including CT scans, MRI, ultrasound, cardiac monitoring and labs. The team also helps patients to obtain expert consultation with neurologists, neurosurgeons, cardiologists, vascular surgeons and sometimes the palliative team.

Parkview also offers a support group for stroke survivors and their caregivers.

Know the symptoms

Parkview is using Stroke Awareness Month to spread awareness of the common symptoms of stroke — numbness and tingling in an arm, or stumbling over words, for instance.  

Stroke symptoms often start small, but progress to more severe symptoms of paralysis or being unable to speak, swallow or see, the hospital said.

“The quicker you can identify someone is having a stroke, the better chance for a more favorable outcome for the stroke patient due to earlier therapy,” it said, noting that two million neurons die every minute during a stroke.

Know the risk factors

Obesity is a risk factor for stroke.

High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke. Other common medical conditions that can increase the chances of having a stroke are high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity and sickle cell disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its website.

Studies have suggested that the number of strokes in the U.S. could more than double by 2050, as Americans live longer, an article published last year in the journal “Stroke” said.

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