Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke, caused by a loss of blood to the brain or the rupture of a blood vessel supplying the brain. Suffering a stroke can lead to long-term disability and life changes.
Whether you or your loved one needs immediate care after suffering a stroke, or you’ve experienced early warning signs and need expert care to identify and control your risk, Bryan Medical Center is the place to turn. As a certified Stroke Center, health care experts offer the area’s most comprehensive range of stroke treatment services. ED physicians, neurologists, fellowship trained interventional radiologists, a neurohospitalist as well as specially trained Bryan staff members are available 24/7, 365 days a year to provide you or your loved one with the most advanced care.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bringing blood and oxygen to the brain is blocked or ruptures and your brain cells don’t get the resource of blood it needs. Without oxygen, your brain cells can’t function and die within minutes, leaving the parts of your body these nerve cells control without function. The effects of a stroke are often permanent because your dead brain cells are unable to rebuild or be replaced.
There are two types of strokes:
- Ischemic Stroke - most common type of stroke caused by a clogged blood vessel to the brain
- Hemorrhagic Stroke - less common and caused by a ruptured blood vessel to the brain
Many people also can experience transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is known as a “mini stroke”. This occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short amount of time. Do not ignore a TIA, as nearly 15 percent of TIAs eventually lead to a stroke.
Recognize a Stroke and Act F.A.S.T.
Warning Signs of Stroke
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or your loved one is experiencing any signs of a stroke. It’s very important to get help quickly – within one to three hours of your first symptoms.
- Face – facial droop, uneven smile
- Arms – Arm numbness, arm weakness
- Speech – slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding
- Time – Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately, preferably a certified stroke center like Bryan Medical Center
TIA Warning Signs
For TIA, also known as a “mini stroke”, the warning signs and symptoms are the same as a stroke, but only last a short time. Seek help immediately for TIA.
About one-third of all stroke survivors will have another stroke within five years, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The good news is that the second strokes are preventable. By knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke and making simple lifestyle changes, you can significantly reduce your risk for a second stroke.
Your Stroke Risk
If you have one or more of the following, you may be at risk of a stroke. Some stroke risks are hereditary, while others can occur due to lifestyle factors.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Artery disease (blockage in your arteries)
- Prior stroke, TIA or heart attack
- Family history of a stroke
If you’re at risk of a stroke, talk to your doctor to learn how you can reduce your risk.
Reducing Your Risk of Stroke
Ways to reduce your risk of stroke:
- Exercise regularly and eat healthy to manage or maintain your weight. The experts at Bryan LifePointe can help you
- Manage your diabetes. Our certified diabetes educators at the Bryan Diabetes Center can help you
Our skilled interventional radiologists are certified and Bryan Medical Center is a national leader in innovative stroke treatment. Additionally, Bryan is the only hospital in Lincoln with a neurohospitalist, trained to provide expert care to stroke patients while in the hospital.
- Dissolves the clot, improving blood flow to the part of the brain being blocked
- Can be given through an IV in the arm, or through advanced procedures, such as sending a catheter through the body to the blocked blood vessel
If t-PA is given within one to three hours of a stroke, t-PA may improve the chances of recovery.
The tight timeframe between a stroke and treatment is why it’s so important to identify a stroke immediately.
Our specially trained interventional radiologists are the only doctors in Lincoln with the expertise and skill to use the Solitaire Revascularization Device (SRD), an advanced treatment that:
- Restores blood flow to the brain
- Removes the blood clot
- Administers medical therapy (t-PA) directly to the clot to dissolve the blockage
We can also remove clots with the Penumbra device, which sucks out the clot through a catheter.
- Treated similarly to that of ischemic strokes
- Works to stop the bleeding of the tangled blood vessels
- If the stroke is caused by a ruptured blood vessel, a surgically placed metal clip can be placed to secure the vessel
Our board certified neurologist provides physician consultations and patient care to patients with neurological conditions who are hospitalized. The Bryan neurohospitalist evaluates and manages the neurological aspects of your loved one’s care, and is available to answer questions and provide updates to your family. The neurohospitalist works collaboratively with the entire health care team.
Neurohospitalist services are provided in association with Bryan Neurology
Stroke Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Life after a stroke can debilitate your normal activity. Rehabilitation and physical therapy is an essential part of recovery for many who have suffered a stroke. At Bryan Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation, our compassionate and skilled therapists are here to help you or your loved one relearn and rebuild your life. We have achieved the highest level of recognition by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in stoke care.
Learn how Bryan Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation can provide you with hope and strength to restore your life.