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Doug Harris

Yolanda Fleming

Medical Center observes World Stroke Day with education

On October 29, The American Stroke Association ad Trinitas Regional Medical Center joined in the observance of World Stroke Day to call attention to what can be a life-altering or fatal health emergency. Members of the Trinitas Regional Medical Center Emergency Department modeled the iconic happy face yellow t-shirts that, in this case, showed a slightly drooping smile to emphasize one of the most noticeable signs of stroke.

The symptoms of stroke, also known as brain attack, are summed up in the acronym FAST. There is a drooping in the Face, followed by Arm weakness, and then Speech abnormalities. Other symptoms like loss of balance or severe headache should also sound the alarm to call 911. Simply put, stroke leaves little Time for hesitation since approximately 2 million brain cells (neurons) die every minute a stroke goes without treatment.

Debbie Milkosky, RN, Coordinator of the Stroke Education Program at Trinitas, stresses the importance of excellent patient care. "Since Trinitas was designated a Primary Stroke Center in 2009, we have redoubled our efforts to treat those who suffer stroke. Our emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, and highly trained nurses and radiologists assess and treat stroke patients rapidly as a means of minimizing the effects of stroke."

Debbie explains that treatment for stroke must begin within the very critical four and a half hours from the onset of symptoms. "When a Code Neuro is called, an Emergency Room physician evaluates the patients within 10 minutes of arrival. Within the next five minutes a neurological consult takes place to determine the likelihood of stroke. Based on the neurologist's recommend-dation, a patient may be given a clot busting medication. At 25 minutes after arrival, a CT scan is done, the results are then interpreted within 45 minutes of the patient's arrival. This happens so rapidly because every minute counts in reducing brain damage."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that one of every 19 deaths is caused by stroke, taking the lives of nearly 130,000 American each year. Of the 795,000 people who suffer stroke each year, 610,000 are first or new strokes; 185,000 are recurrent strokes. The disability caused by stroke costs the nation $38.6 billion annually in health care services, medication and lost productivity. Data show that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable; however, uncontrollable risk factors of heredity, age, gender and ethnicity remain key factors that can lead to stroke.


About Trinitas Regional Medical Center
Trinitas Regional Medical Center (TRMC), a major center for comprehensive health services for those who live and work in Central New Jersey, is a Catholic teaching medical center sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in partnership with Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation. With 10 Centers of Excellence across the continuum of care, Trinitas has distinguished itself in cardiology, cancer care, behavioral health, renal care, nursing education, diabetes management, wound healing and sleep medicine.

Posted: October 29, 2014

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