Knowing symptoms of stroke and how to reduce risks

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. In recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month, Regional West urges the public to make at least one lifestyle change to reduce their stroke risk such as exercising regularly, improving their diet, or quitting smoking.

When a stroke occurs, prompt treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

Regional West is certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center.

Treatment in a Primary Stroke Center provides a safer environment, resulting in better patient outcomes.

As a Primary Stroke Center, Regional West offers exceptional stroke care from a highly skilled team of onsite emergency medicine physicians as well as tele-stroke consults with neurologists at Denver’s HealthOne Swedish Medical Center.

“Research from the American Stroke Association shows that patients at a Primary Stroke Center receive a higher level of care with fewer complications, and as a result they spend less time in the hospital and rehabilitation,” said Regional West Stroke Coordinator Michael Wharton, BSN, RN, MSOM. “It’s important to know that stroke is treatable if care is received as quickly as possible after the onset of symptoms.”

Stroke can happen to anyone at any time.

Symptoms include numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side; confusion or trouble understanding other people; difficulty speaking; and trouble seeing.

Risk factors for stroke such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes may not be recognized and treated in younger or middle-aged adults and can contribute to stroke.

For more information about Regional West’s stroke program, contact Regional West Stroke Coordinator Michael Wharton at 308-630-1854, or visit https://www.rwhs.org/services/trauma-emergency/stroke.