Signs of a stroke
Because a stroke is a medical emergency, it is important to know the signs of a stroke. Stroke symptoms include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion
- Trouble speaking
- Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause
If you believe someone is experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately.
Stroke care in Wichita
At Wesley Healthcare, our experienced and compassionate doctors provide rapid, life-saving stroke care. We have received numerous recognitions from The Joint Commission and American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for our outstanding stroke care.
During a stroke, the brain’s blood supply is interrupted, leading to the death of brain tissue within minutes of the blockage. The longer a stroke goes untreated, brain cells continue to die and the patient’s chances of making a full recovery significantly decrease.
Types of stroke
Wesley’s specialists treat both types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke: About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic. These strokes occur when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes obstructed. A portion of the blood clot breaks loose, enters the bloodstream and travels through the brain’s blood vessels until it reaches vessels too small to let it pass. It then obstructs the flow of blood to the brain tissue.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: About 13 percent of all strokes are hemorrhagic. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain tissue. Blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue.
An ischemic attack can be treated by injecting a clot-busting drug called tPA, tissue plasminogen activator. tPA can have dangerous effects, however, if injected more than three hours after the stroke’s onset. Surgical treatment is often necessary for a hemorrhagic stroke.
Wesley Healthcare offers the latest technology to help patients experience the most positive outcomes possible.
Many small or rural hospitals do not have a neurologist available to diagnose and treat stroke patients. The WesleyCare Virtual Health Network immediately brings experienced stroke neurologists to the bedside of patients in community hospitals that may not provide on-site specialty care physicians. The WesleyCare Virtual Health Network helps connect physicians and patients in these hospitals with a neurologist any time of the day or night.
Almost all strokes are preventable with the exception of advancing age. Most other risk factors for strokes can be minimized by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including the following:
- Be physically active
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get enough sleep
- Keep blood pressure under control
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage cholesterol and blood sugar
- Stop smoking
Stroke prevention for patients with atrial fibrillation
The left atrial appendage closure implant is a new stroke reduction option and an alternative to long-term warfarin medication used for patients with atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat quickly and chaotically.
The most common treatment to reduce stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation is blood-thinning warfarin medication. However, long-term warfarin medication is not well-tolerated by some patients and carries a significant risk for bleeding complications.
The implant closes off the left atrial appendage of the heart to keep harmful blood clots from entering the bloodstream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off that area, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin altogether.