Holzer Health System Recognizes National Stroke Awareness Month
Stroke Awareness Month
May is Stroke Awareness Month, which began in 1989 to help educate individuals on how to recognize the signs of a stroke and seek help. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke kills almost 150,000 of the 860,000 Americans who die of cardiovascular disease annually. But the fact remains that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by managing risk factors.
Anyone, regardless of age or gender, can have a stroke at any time. The CDC states that one out of four strokes are reoccurring strokes. Unhealthy habits such as poor diet, using tobacco products, drinking too much alcohol, and not getting enough exercise can contribute to a person experiencing a stroke. High cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure and being obese can also increase a person’s risk of stroke.
“Strokes unfortunately are very common, but luckily many strokes can be prevented. Modifying your stroke risk factors can help lower your chance of having a stroke,” states Holzer neurologist, Dr. Amanda McConnell.
Did You Know?
- Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Stroke is a leading cause of adult long-term disability.
- Up to 80% of strokes are preventable.
- Making simple lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your stroke risk.
- Stroke is an emergency! It’s important to learn stroke warning signs and how to respond to them. Time is an important factor in determining treatment options for stroke.
Symptoms of a stroke may include a sudden severe headache with no known cause, trouble walking, or dizziness. Other symptoms can be easily remembered with the acronym BE FAST.
- Balance: a sudden loss of balance or coordination
- Eyes: loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Facial droop or uneven smile
- Arm numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Slurred speech – difficulty understanding or listening
- Time: Time to call 911 even if the symptoms go away
“If you develop any of these symptoms, you need to come immediately to the emergency department,” shares Dr. McConnell. “Our staff will be able to help identify if you are having a stroke and work quickly to treat it.”
Holzer offers three neurologists providing care at our Athens, Gallipolis, Jackson and Proctorville locations. Phu Le, MD, is a graduate of Ross University School of Medicine and completed his residency and internship at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York. Amanda McConnell, DO, MPH, is a graduate of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, Ohio, completed her residency and internship at Grandview Medical Center, Dayton, Ohio. She is Board Certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology, American Osteopathic Board of Psychiatry, and Certified in Sleep Medicine. Stephanie Wolf, MD, is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, and completed her residency at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio. She also completed a fellowship at The Ohio State University in Clinical Neurophysiology. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology.
Neurologists are educated in the symptoms and signs in stroke patients and the detailed differential diagnosis of stroke subtypes. In addition, they are familiar with the symptoms, signs and diagnosis of other neurological disorders. Establishing with a neurologist following a stroke is important because they can help find the cause of the stroke and tailor the treatment to the cause of the initial stroke. This will help reduce the risk of another stroke occurring.
For more information on Holzer Neurology services, or to make an appointment, visit https://www.holzer.org/care-treatment/neurology/ or call 1-855-4-HOLZER (1-855-446-5937).