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Stroke

Our Lady of the Lake Stroke Center
Our Lady of the Lake is a Certified Primary Stroke Center of Distinction and provides stroke treatments that can reduce the risk of damage from the most common types of stroke if you get help within three hours of your first symptoms.

If you or a loved one experience warning signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately or get to the nearest emergency room.

Telestroke
Through advanced remote technology, Our Lady of the Lake provides patients in rural areas access to high quality stroke care through our telestroke program available in the following community hospitals:

  • St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales, LA,
  • St. Francis in Monroe, LA,
  • West Feliciana Parish Hospital in St. Francisville, LA
  • Our Lady of the Lake Livingston in Walker, LA


Telestroke is the use of telemedicine specifically geared toward stroke care utilizing electronic communication methods, such as telephone, internet and videoconferencing to exchange medical information from one geographic site to another.

What is Stroke?
A stroke happens when a vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked or ruptures, depriving nerve cells of the oxygen they need to function. When these cells can't function, neither can the part of the body they control. Effects of strokes, including physical and emotional impairment, are often permanent because dead brain cells cannot be replaced.

Not all of these warning signs occur in every stroke, but the most common symptoms before a stroke include:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness 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 headaches with no known cause


When a stroke happens, timing is everything. Act FAST and call 911.
Knowing the warning signs of a stroke and getting immediate medical care can mean the difference between having a functional lifestyle and not being able to live independently.

Learn the many warning signs of a stroke and act FAST. Use FAST to remember the warning signs:

F = FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T = TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
 
Measure your risk
Knowing your risk factors for stroke—and how to effectively manage them—are the keys to prevention and may help you live a longer, healthier life. If you have a family history of stroke, it's important that you consult a doctor who specializes in heart care to determine your best plan of care for a healthy life. 
 
While some stroke factors like aging, gender and certain heart and blood disorders can't be controlled, there are many factors you can help mitigate.
 
Risk factors you can help control:

 

  • High blood pressure
  • Tobacco use.
  • Diabetes.
  • Carotid or other artery disease.
  • High blood cholesterol.
  • Physical inactivity and obesity.
  • Excessive alcohol intake.
  • Illegal drug use.


Types of Stroke
There are three main types of stroke:

Ischemic—caused by a clot or other blockage within an artery leading to the brain, and accounts for almost 80% of all strokes

Intracerebral hemorrhage—caused by the sudden rupture of an artery within the brain, releasing blood inside the brain that compresses vital structures

Subarachnoid hemorrhage—also caused by the sudden rupture of an artery, but blood fills the space surrounding the brain
Stroke treatments vary, with initial procedures focusing on restoring blood flow for an ischemic stroke, or controlling bleeding for a hemorrhagic stroke.

Remember, the faster you get help for any of the warning signs of stroke, the better your chance for recovery.

Be mindful of a "mini-strokes"
A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time. The symptoms are the same as those of a stroke, but usually last only a few minutes. About 15 percent of strokes are preceded by TIAs, so it's critical to seek medical help immediately when experiencing any of these symptoms. Never ignore signs of stroke, even if they go away.

Care After Stroke
It is important that you receive regular medical care after leaving the hospital to help reduce your risk of another stroke. Make sure you have a plan and know which doctor you will see and when you will see them after you leave the hospital. Bring your list of medications, as the dosage will likely need to be adjusted based on blood tests and other measurements made by your doctor.

Rehabilitation
Visit Our Lady of the Lake’s Rehabilitation Center page.

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