BY ANDREW WEISSMAN, PA-C
Director of Clinical Initiatives,
The Walter Strauss Stroke Center at the Grand
Each year, nearly 800,000 Americans experience a new or recurrent stroke, making stroke the nation’s third leading cause of death. Stroke is also the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 6.5 million stroke survivors alive today.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or bursts. There are two types of stroke: hemorrhagic and ischemic. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when brain arteries rupture and an ischemic stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
Are you or a loved one at risk?
Many factors increase the risk for stroke. Some factors can be controlled, while others cannot.
• Strokes are four to six times more likely in people with high blood pressure.
• People with high cholesterol are at double the risk of having a stroke.
• Strokes are six times more likely to occur in people with heart disease.
• Excess weight can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, which can lead to a stroke.
• Heavy drinking increases the risk for stroke.
• Smokers have double the risk for stroke as nonsmokers.
If you experience any of the major stroke warning signs listed below, call 911. It is important to get to a hospital immediately.
• Sudden loss of speech
• Slurred speech
• Blurry or double vision
• Sudden paralysis
• Sudden weakness
• Sudden dizziness
Healthy diet, exercise, controlling blood pressure and not smoking are cornerstones of stroke prevention.
• Control your blood pressure.
• Find out if you have heart disease, especially an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.
• Don’t smoke.
• Find out if you have a diseased carotid artery
• Lower your cholesterol.
• Limit your alcohol intake.
• Control your weight.
• If you have diabetes, manage the disease.
Recovering from Stroke
Caring for individuals recovering from stroke requires special attention, highly trained staff, compassion, the latest equipment and advanced techniques. May’s American Stroke Month heralded important news for those recovering from stroke in Queens and nearby Nassau: The opening of The Walter Strauss Stroke Center at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 157-15 19th Avenue, Whitestone –the only one of its kind in Queens.
• Specialization, experience and individualized plans improve outcome and speed recovery. Beginning with a 24-hour admissions hotline for family members, social workers and physicians, the Walter Strauss Stroke Center features experienced, professional nursing and therapy staff who specialize in stroke rehabilitation and recovery. An individualized treatment plan created by the patient’s physician, family members and the treatment team helps speed recovery and return to home. Designed to optimize a return to the greatest degree of independent living possible, the program focuses on walking, eating, dressing and speaking, but also addresses the daily activities of those returning to work and an active lifestyle.
• Take advantage of the latest technology and techniques. Speech and communication rehabilitation is enhanced by the use of the renowned Iowa Oral Performance Instrument, and the most modern equipment is employed to re-learn walking and other physical activities.
• Individual and group counseling may help ease the great stress that burdens those recovering from stroke and their family members. Regular meetings with rehabilitating patients, their loved ones and physicians reflect a steadfast commitment to monitoring progress, adjusting treatment as necessary and addressing concerns.
For more information about stroke awareness and prevention, scheduling expert speakers for your community organization, and the programs and services of The Walter Strauss Stroke Center, call (718) 746-0400 or visit www.thegrandhealthcare.com/StrokeCenter.