The Stroke Unit at Banner Desert Medical Center is a dedicated unit for patients who recently suffered a stroke. The unit offers an interdisciplinary team of experts that offer the newest technologies and care plans for stroke patients.Working with the unit is our Rehabilitation Services department, which offers the best practices and current research in rehabilitative therapies to advance a patient’s recovery from a stroke with care and planning. Stroke Facts Strokes are the leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States. Occuring when a blood vessel in the brain develops a clot or bursts, strokes can be disabling to any area of the body, often leading to hospitalization and rehabilitation. The disabling effects of a stroke can be permanent, so it is best to seek medical help immediately if you feel that you have suffered a stroke or have noticed one of the warning signs of a stroke. Warning Signs of Stroke
The American Stroke Association identifies the following as common warning signs:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body
- Sudden dimness or loss of vision, especially in one eye
- Sudden loss of speech or trouble understanding speech
- Sudden severe headaches with no apparent cause, especially in connection with the other symptoms
- Unexplained loss of balance, unsteadiness or falls
- Unexplained loss of consciousness
Risk of stroke varies among individuals. Your heredity and other factors beyond your control may put you at increased risk. These risks include:
- Age – while you can have a stroke at any age, your risk doubles each decade after age 55.
- Gender – while men and women both have strokes, men are 19 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.
- Race – while people of all races have strokes, African Americans have a higher risk, especially with associate high blood pressure.
- Prior stroke – once you have had a stroke, your future risk is increased.
- Heredity – if family members have had a stroke, your risk is higher.
Lifestyle Changes Can Reduce Risks
You can, however, make positive changes in your lifestyle that will significantly reduce your personal risk. The following is a list of factors that you, with your physician’s help, may be able to minimize.
- High blood pressure
Use of tobacco and/or abuse of alcohol
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes)
- Obesity or lack of exercise
For more information about stroke, please contact the American Stroke Association’s Stroke Connection Warmline at 1 (800) 553-6321, or the National Stroke Association at 1(800)STROKES (787-6527).