One out of every six people throughout the world will have a stroke. Unfortunately in only half of these incidents do people call 9-1-1 for immediate care according to research. For this reason, the Niagara Health System District Stroke Centre and its partners are spreading the word to the public about the importance of calling 9-1-1 quickly during June which is Stroke month.
Failing to recognize the warning signs of a stroke delays life-saving medical care provided at designated stroke centres like the one at Greater Niagara General Site. The faster you recognize symptoms and call 9-1-1, the better your chances are of erasing the signs of stroke. Stroke symptoms usually appear suddenly and include loss of strength or numbness in the face, arm or leg, difficulty speaking, vision problems, severe and unusual headache and loss of balance. “The faster patients are treated, the better the outcomes,” says Leanne Hammond, Coordinator of the NHS’s Niagara District Stroke Centre.
Care providers from the Niagara Health System District Stroke Program together with stroke survivors, Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre and Niagara EMS will spread the word and educate the public about recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke and care for stroke patients following their stroke. The public and members of the media are encouraged to visit an information booth at the Penn Centre, 221 Glendale Avenue, St. Catharines, on Wednesday, June 13 from 1 to 9 pm.
About stroke care in Niagara
The NHS’s Niagara District Stroke Centre is the regional centre for stroke care. It is located at the Greater Niagara General Site (GNG) in Niagara Falls, where a specially trained ED stroke team provides treatment to patients from across the region. This includes assessment and administration of t-PA, or tissue plasminogen activator, a drug that can stop a stroke caused by a blood clot by breaking up the clot in cases of ischemic stroke.
GNG is also the site of a 10-bed acute care stroke unit for patients from across the region who are recovering from acute stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack).