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Niagara stroke team marks World Stroke Day with reminder to call 911 upon signs, symptoms of stroke

Posted Oct 29th, 2012

The Niagara Health System District Stroke Centre is marking World Stroke Day today by reminding Niagara residents of the importance of calling 911 if they experience signs and symptoms of stroke.

“Patients who delay coming to a designated stroke centre may disqualify themselves from receiving clot busting, life-saving medication,” says Dr. Donald Chew, Neurologist and Medical Director of the Niagara District Stroke Centre. “At the very onset of symptoms, call 911 to improve your chances of survival and recovery.”

The NHS’s District Stroke Centre is the regional centre for stroke care. Located at the Greater Niagara General Site, the centre’s specially trained healthcare professionals provide a variety of services to thousands of patients across the region every year.

Research shows that patients who receive care at designated stroke centres are more likely to be alive, independent and living at home one year after suffering a stroke. Stroke unit care reduces the likelihood of death and disability by as much as 30 per cent regardless of the severity of the stroke.

“Awareness of stroke signs and symptoms and how to take immediate action are key to stroke survival and recovery,” says Leanne Hammond, NHS District Stroke Coordinator. “Niagara is a provincial leader in stroke care, but there are still too many people with stroke symptoms not arriving at the Emergency Department in time to be considered for the clot-busting drug tPA.”

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.


October 29 has been designated as World Stroke Day by the World Stroke Organization. Around the globe, the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke and calling 911 immediately are being promoted.

Niagara Health System