EDINBURG - Every 40 seconds someone in the United States sustains a stroke, which means at the end of the Upper Valley Report, 22 people will have had a stroke. One of them might even be here in the Upper Valley.
"Unfortunately our community has a lot of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. And so this community needs facilities to take care of people with strokes," said Dr. Fausto Meza, Chief Medical Officer at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.
This is one of the reasons Doctors Hospital at Renaissance is working hard to get their stroke center accreditation. In working towards this, they recently opened a stroke unit in the hospital.
In Medical ICU there are 11 beds, six of which are reserved for stroke patients.
But why is having a stroke unity better than just using regular equipped rooms?
"The reason why it's different is because there is actually medical research that shows having a place where the people are trained to take care, and to recognize strokes and what happens, and the complications. People live longer, they are able to survive better, survive better, their debility is less, they just turn out a whole lot better," said Dr. Meza.
With this new opening Dr. Meza said he felt it important to meet with staff so everyone can work better as a team to help these stroke victims.
"The reason we were meeting with nursing staff is because of the education part. Part of the accreditation that the whole facility needs to understand is how to take care of a stroke, what stroke symptoms are, what we provide and what needs to be done. So really that's just our way of reaching out to our own hospital community to continue through education, and we're going to continue doing that," said Dr. Meza.
The stroke unit is already in full use, with every room already filled with a patient. Several nurses, doctors and assistants hurry up and down the hallway, going room to room helping these patients.
"The difference really has to do with the people, their education in those units, protocols that they follow specific to stroke, it's not so much the facility itself, as opposed to the people, and the talent and the protocols, and the education that the hospital has put to make sure people are being cared for," said Dr. Meza.
A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain stops or clots.
Symptoms for stroke include:
- Sudden numbness of the face, 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
If you think you are having a stroke, doctors say immediately call 911 and get to a hospital.