169 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905
Lourdes is a New York State Designated Stroke Center. This means we have met the criteria for stroke center status by demonstrating our abilities to diagnose and treat strokes. This designation encompasses several aspects including trained doctors and nurses able to rapidly identify and treat acute stroke and a comprehensive approach to stroke patients on our inpatient stroke unit. Our multi-disciplinary stroke team includes doctors, nurses, therapists, care management, dietary and social workers.
At Lourdes, we can offer the latest technology and medications while treating the stroke patient's entire needs. Care is coordinated from the first point of contact with the patient, whether through the emergency department, our outpatient service areas or our inpatient units.
What is a Stroke?
Like a heart attack, a stroke occurs when there is a disruption in the blood supply to the brain. This disruption can come from a blocked blood vessel in the brain or a blood vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the brain. Strokes can vary widely in the amount of damage they cause. A stroke is a medical emergency and the earlier it is treated, the better the outcome is likely to be. Remember, "Time Lost, is Brain Lost".
Who is at risk for a Stroke?
While a stroke is possible in anybody, certain types of people are at increased risk for a stroke.
You may be at higher risk if:
- You have hypertension (high blood pressure)
- You have high cholesterol
- You have diabetes
- You have irregular heart beats, such as atrial fibrillation
- You have narrowing of the blood vessels in the neck from cholesterol build-up
- You are obese
- You smoke cigarettes
- You take certain medications that increase the body's tendency to form blood clots.
How do I know if I'm having a Stroke?
Call 911 immediately if you experience:
- sudden loss of vision in one eye or both
- sudden loss of strength in a limb
- sudden loss of sensation over part of your body
- sudden inability to speak or to understand spoken commands
- sudden dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination
- sudden severe headache without a known cause
Only a doctor can diagnose a stroke. These symptoms, or warning signs, might come from other causes, but it's important not to delay seeking treatment if they occur, even for a short time. Call 911.
What should I do if I think someone else is having a Stroke?
Ask them to repeat a sentence back to you, to smile at you, and to raise both arms. If they have problems with any of these three steps, call 911. Stay with the person and note the time that the person began to have symptoms. The Emergency Room physician will need this information.
What is a "mini-stroke?" What is a TIA?
If someone experiences stroke symptoms that go completely away in a short period of time (typically less than an hour), we call that a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack.) Sometimes, people call these "mini-strokes." Although these episodes don't result in ongoing deficits, they are an important indicator that there is a problem that needs to be looked into. If you experience stroke symptoms, don't wait to see if they'll go away, call for help immediately.
What can be done to treat a Stroke?
The earlier someone gets to a hospital with a stroke, the more options there are for treatment. There are medications that can be given to thin the blood to prevent clots, medications that protect the brain tissue around the stroke, or even medications to dissolve blockages and restore blood flow to the affected part of the brain.
Physicians, nurses, and rehabilitation therapists help the patient recover from the damage done by a stroke. And, physicians will investigate the cause of the stroke to reduce the likelihood of further strokes occurring.
Where should I seek treatment for a stroke?
Time is of the essence if you're having a stroke, so the best place is the Emergency Department of a suitable hospital. Lourdes Hospital is fully equipped to manage all phases of Stroke care, including aggressive therapies to limit the damage from a stroke and full rehabilitation services to help you recover. Call 911, explain your symptoms, ask for Lourdes, and you'll get rapid, modern, and effective care.
What can I do to prevent a Stroke?
Work with your primary care physician to reduce the risk factors for stroke:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Don't smoke tobacco products
- Monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol and treat these as necessary
Simple examinations and tests can determine if you have a medical condition that could be treated to reduce the likelihood of a stroke.