Sunday, May 27, 2001

Experts: Seek immediate care for stroke

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        People need to seek care for a stroke as quickly as they would for a heart attack, say local medical experts and members of the American Stroke Association.

        Last week, stroke association officials kicked off “Operation Stroke,” a public awareness program that the organization hopes to launch in 125 cities by 2003.

        Stroke is the nation's third-leading cause of death, killing about 160,000 people a year. On average, people wait 22 hours to seek treatment for signs of stroke. That's too long to benefit from medications that can limit stroke-related brain damage when administered within a few hours of onset.

        So, the Operation Stroke program urges the public and the medical community to follow a four-step program to reduce stroke-related death and disability.

        • Call 911 when you recognize stroke symptoms, such as sudden loss of vision or numbness in one arm or one side of the face.

        • Emergency medical personnel should be trained to provide quick assessment of symptoms.

        • Patients suffering signs of stroke should be transported quickly to a hospital ready to provide diagnosis and care.

        • Hospitals should be equipped and staffed to perform rapid diagnostic tests needed to administer stroke-limiting medications.

        For information about stroke, call 1-888-4-STROKE or visit


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