May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Every 40 seconds in the United States, someone has a stroke according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and every four minutes, someone dies.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by either a clot (ischemic stroke) or a break in a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). Seeking immediate medical attention for a stroke is critical as every minute the brain is without blood flow, the greater risk for brain damage, permanent disability or death. The onset of any of the following symptoms requires immediate attention, starting with a call to 911. Remember the phrase/acronym BE FAST:
B – Balance difficulty: Sudden loss of balance or coordination, weakness or dizziness
E – Eye changes: Sudden onset of vision changes in one or both eyes
F – Face drooping: Sudden onset of facial drooping, usually on one side
A – Arm weakness: Sudden weakness or numbness in the arm, leg or face, usually on one side of the body
S – Speech difficulty: Sudden onset of trouble speaking or difficulty in understanding speech
T – Terrible headache: Sudden onset on severe headache with no known cause
In 2022, HSHS St. Vincent and St. Mary’s hospitals in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls treated more than 600 people for stroke.
Intravenous medication can be used in some instances to treat stroke, while others require an interventional, surgical procedure. Dr. Alison Meyer, Prevea Health neurointerventional radiologist, performs these procedures at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay – a certified, Comprehensive Stroke Center. Dr. Meyer and the hospital’s dedicated stroke team use Bi Plane Angiography technology that provides 3-D, high-resolution images of the patient’s arteries and vessels, allowing them to pinpoint and quickly remove clots or repair ruptured vessels.
“Minutes and hours after a successful clot retrieval procedure, patients may be walking, talking and symptom free – even after serious stroke symptoms,” says Dr. Meyer. “The sooner a patient can be brought to a hospital, the better chance they have of a successful recovery.”
Studies show patients who arrive in the Emergency Department within the first three hours of stroke symptoms have better outcomes and less disability than those who delayed care. Always call 911 if a stroke is suspected. HSHS hospital emergency department locations in Eastern Wisconsin:
- HSHS St. Vincent Hospital, 835 S. Van Buren St., Green Bay
- HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, 1726 Shawano Ave., Green Bay
- HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, 3100 Superior Ave., Sheboygan
- HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls
There are numerous risk factors for stroke including age, genetics, gender and race, which cannot be controlled. However, there are several factors that increase the risk of stroke and can be controlled, including: Smoking, high blood pressure, alcohol consumption and illegal drug use, stress, diabetes, obesity, inactivity, unhealthy diet and abnormal cholesterol.
For those diagnosed with a vascular condition that causes complete or partial blockage of the arteries, surgical preventative treatment options may be available based on the severity of blockage. Consult with your primary care physician or a Prevea vascular surgeon to learn more.
For more information, please visit: www.prevea.com/stroke
About HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center have been delivering quality health care to Green Bay and its surrounding communities since 1888. With HSHS St. Vincent being the largest tertiary care hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s location on Green Bay’s west side, patients from Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan benefit from a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, emergency and trauma care, preventive care across the lifespan, digestive health, orthopedic, cardiac care, neurosciences, rehabilitation and pediatrics. Affiliates of Hospital Sisters Health System, the hospitals primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of competent and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. Both hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
About HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital has been delivering high quality health care to Sheboygan and its surrounding communities since 1890. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital provides a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, 24-hour emergency care, digestive health, orthopedics, cardiac, home health and hospice care. The hospital’s primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of high quality and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. An affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. To learn more, visit www.stnicholashospital.org.
About HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital serves Oconto Falls and the surrounding communities as a federally-designated critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency department, urgent care, general, vascular and orthopedic surgical services, inpatient and outpatient surgical and diagnostic services, rehabilitation, oncology outpatient clinic and women’s care. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, in affiliation with Prevea Health, has six regional health center locations in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto, Oconto Falls and Suring. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Pharmacies are located in Gillett and Oconto Falls. Founded in 1921 as Community Memorial Hospital, in 2014, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital became the fourteenth hospital in Hospital Sisters Health System. As an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. For more information about St. Clare, visit www.stclarememorial.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.
About Prevea Health
Founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, Prevea Health is a health care organization that provides high-quality, primary and specialty health care in 80+ locations across Northern, Eastern and Western Wisconsin in clinic and hospital settings. It is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin to provide patients a system of highly-coordinated care, close to home: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire; and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. For more information, visit www.prevea.com.