Coliseum Health System May 06, 2015

Macon, GA - May is National Stroke Awareness Month and Coliseum Health System is committed to raising awareness about stroke symptoms and treatment. Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.

“Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the number one cause of disability in the United States. Someone in the U.S. has a stroke approximately every 40 seconds, and someone dies from a stroke about every four minutes. Therefore, it is crucial to get medical attention as soon as possible if someone thinks they are having a stroke.” said Kristen Ankrom, RN, Stroke Coordinator at Coliseum Medical Centers. “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention and appropriate treatment, the greater the chance of recovery.”

Recognized for its outstanding stroke care, the Coliseum has been accredited by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, and has recently received its fifth consecutive “Get With the Guidelines” Certification in stroke by the American Heart Association. Coliseum Medical Centers’ Inpatient Rehabilitation Center recently became the only Joint Commission certified Stroke Rehabilitation Center in the area.

“If you suspect a stroke, remember the word F.A.S.T.” said Dr. Lori McIntosh, Stroke Center Director, “F is for face - is your face drooping? A is for arms – can you lift both arms? S is for speech – are you slurring your words? T is for time, call 9-1-1 immediately because with a stroke, time is brain.”

The primary stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Coliseum Medical Centers will also be hosting a community lunch and learn on Tuesday, May 19 starting at noon. This lunch and learn will feature Dr. Lori McIntosh, as well as Dr. Nicole Jasper, ER Medical Director. They will both discuss the signs and symptoms of a stroke as well as what to do if you suspect you or someone you love is having a stroke. Free stroke risk assessments and blood pressure screenings will also be available. Anyone interested in attending should call (478) 746-4646 to register.