A stroke or brain attack is the leading cause of long-term disability among adults in the United States. It’s the third leading cause of death (behind diseases of the heart and all forms of cancer). Nearly 700,000 people suffer new or recurrent stroke each year. About 165,000 die of the condition.
Stroke Warning Signs
Stroke is a medical emergency. The American Stroke Association says you should know these warning signs because when it comes to a stroke and your brain's recovery from it, every second counts:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
St. Petersburg General Hospital has a top-notch stroke prevention and treatment program, providing a seamless system of handling patients from the emergency room through rehabilitation.
Certified Primary Stroke Center
St. Petersburg General Hospital is certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. To achieve this certification, St. Petersburg General has assembled a team of highly skilled medical professionals - including emergency physicians, surgeons, neurologists, nurses, therapists, laboratory and pharmacy staff, and radiologists - who are specially trained to respond quickly and completely to the needs of a stroke patient.
When a patient comes to the St. Petersburg General Hospital emergency department with symptoms of stroke:
- a trained Stroke Team is available around the clock, seven days a week, to evaluate a stroke patient immediately upon arrival
- he or she is evaluated and treated using a uniform and extensive set of guidelines that address both emergency treatment and ongoing care
- a CT scan will be performed upon arrival and interpreted within 45 minutes of the stroke patient being admitted
- a fully functioning medical laboratory is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to analyze and provide a patient’s test results in a timely manner
- a neurosurgeon is available, if needed
Comprehensive Program of Care
We also treat any underlying problems - such as vascular disease or atherosclerosis - that may be the cause of stroke, and offers:
- minimally invasive delivery of clot dissolving medication using the newest therapies
- staffing who coordinates the care of stroke patients
- an Acute Stroke Team including a team of clinicians experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke who are available around-the-clock for stroke emergencies
- diagnostic imaging equipment to accurately detect stroke and its complications
- rehabilitation specialists committed to helping survivors regain a comfortable quality of life