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CONTACT:
Sharon Struthers
Resurrection Medical Center
(773) 792-6309
sstruthers@reshealthcare.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Resurrection Medical Center Experts Stress Importance of Knowing Signs of Stroke

May is Stroke Awareness Month

Chicago, IL (May 1, 2012) Can you recognize the warning signs of a stroke?

Experts from the Certified Primary Stroke Center at Resurrection Medical Center are partnering with stroke survivors to educate the community on the warning signs of stroke.

“Our message is to act fast and call 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone you know may be having a stroke,” said Sandra Hoelzel, Stroke Coordinator at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago. “Treatment is most effective when started immediately. In some cases, doctors can stop a stroke in progress.”

Hoelzel and other clinicians and two stroke survivors will hand out stroke awareness cards from 6 to 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 1 at the CTA Blue Line Station at 5550 N. Harlem Ave. It is part of the Midwest Stroke Action Alliance city-wide event to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke, and emphasize the importance of calling 9-1-1.

May is stroke awareness month and May 1 is stroke alert day.

Hoelzel recommends remembering the letters in “fast” when observing someone who may be having a stroke.

“F.A.S.T. is for face, arms, speech and time,” Hoelzel said. “Ask the person to smile to see if one side of the face droops. Ask the person to raise both arms to see if one arm drifts downward, and ask the person to repeat a simple phrase to see if their speech is slurred. As for time, call 9-1-1 immediately if you observe any of these signs.”

Stroke symptoms are sudden and include numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg; confusion or trouble speaking or understanding; dizziness or loss of balance; loss of vision in one or both eyes; severe headache with no known cause; nausea or vomiting and brief loss of consciousness.

According to the National Stroke Association, stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or blood vessel and interrupts the blood flow to an area of the brain. Brain cells begin to die and strokes can result in brain damage or death. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability.

People with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and/or diabetes are at higher risk for stroke. Obesity and use of tobacco and alcohol are also factors.

In addition to Resurrection Medical Center, Resurrection Health Care has Certified Primary Stroke Centers in Chicago at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, Saint Joseph Hospital and Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, and at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston.

At each Resurrection Health Care Certified Primary Stroke Center, specialists in emergency medicine, neurology and radiology work together to provide the best treatment. The Certified Primary Stroke Centers have consistently achieved outstanding patient outcomes.

About Resurrection Medical Center

Resurrection Medical Center, 7435 W. Talcott Ave., Chicago, is an award-winning, 360-bed academic teaching hospital. As a full service medical center offering comprehensive health services, we are dedicated to providing quality, compassionate care to all we serve. The Medical Center recently opened a new five-story Patient Care Addition with 120 private rooms. Guided by the latest research, every aspect of the new addition promotes healing. Visit www.reshealth.org.

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