First and foremost, the stroke patient needs to get to the hospital as soon as possible. In addition, patients need to have blood tests as well as a CT scan (computed tomography perfusion imaging) to determine if and where a clot exists. These necessary steps add to the time it takes for a patient to be treated, and time is brain. The safest and best way to get to the hospital is to call 9-1-1. We have great EMS providers in our area who can stabilize the patient and help physicians and WakeMed prepare for the patient’s arrival.
In addition to a safe and swift arrival at the hospital emergency department, patients should:
- Lie as flat as possible to encourage blood flow.
- Be given aspirin (in some cases) and intravenous fluids.
- Be kept stable to avoid sudden drops in blood pressure.
Know the Symptoms
Here is a simple test from the National Stroke Association to help determine if a person is having a stroke.
Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one drift down?
Can the person repeat a simple sentence?
See any of these signs? Act fast, and call 911 to get to the nearest hospital where acute stroke treatment is readily available.