Stroke care in southwest Virginia
Following the onset of a stroke, the faster treatment is received the better. A delay in treatment can result in an increased loss of brain cells. At LewisGale Regional Health System, we work with emergency medical services (EMS) providers in their local communities to deliver brain-saving stroke care within the critical first three hours after stroke symptoms appear.
If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke call 911 immediately. To learn more about our stroke services, call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (877) 242-2362.
Signs of stroke
Knowing the signs of stroke can save lives. Stroke symptoms may appear suddenly and include:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arms or legs, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause
If you suspect a stroke, act F.A.S.T.
- F(ace)—Does one side the face droop when smiling?
- A(rms)—Does one arm drift downward when both arms are raised overhead?
- S(peech)—Does the speech sound slurred or strange when repeating a simple phrase?
- T(ime)—If you observe any of these symptoms, note the time they started and get help immediately.
Types of stroke
Our stroke care program offers a range of medical and surgical interventions, as well as stroke rehabilitation services for inpatients and outpatients who may have experienced:
- Ischemic stroke—Loss of blood flow to the brain, resulting from a clot-blocked artery
- Hemorrhagic stroke—Bleeding into the brain, resulting from a ruptured artery in the brain
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA)—Attack that begins like a stroke but resolves itself without noticeable symptoms
Our emergency room physicians can administer new clot-dissolving drugs and help avoid permanent brain damage, diminished capacity or even death. Together, our fast actions and response give you the greatest chance of recovery that preserves the best possible quality of life.
Your stroke care team may include a variety of medical professionals, including:
- Neurologists and neurosurgeons
- Emergency physicians
- Intensive care clinicians
- Physical, occupational and speech therapists
- Rehabilitation specialists
Primary Stroke Center Certification
Stroke alert response
When EMS notifies one of our hospitals of a potential stroke patient—or when someone with stroke symptoms arrives directly at a hospital— we call a stroke alert. Stroke alert is our well-established and highly integrated process for fast response, diagnosis and treatment of stroke.
Calling a stroke alert begins the process of delivering rapid treatment within the critical first three hours of a stroke and improves your chances of a more thorough recovery. If you call 911 and you are identified as a stroke patient by EMS, our continuous treatment begins before you even arrive at one of our hospitals.
Our multidisciplinary care team follows you through your initial entrance into the emergency room, into intensive care and through rehabilitation therapy and beyond.
Advanced stroke diagnostic tools
When you choose LewisGale Regional Health System, you gain access to expert care from interventional neuroradiologists and other imaging specialists. Our team's extensive experiences and skills result in a fast diagnosis and customized treatments.
Our neurological imaging tools are supplemented by the only digital biplane angiography unit in southwest Virginia.
Also known as 3DRA (three-dimensional rotational angiography), digital biplane angiography is an advanced diagnostic tool used to identify a stroke.
After we treat you for stroke, we are with you every step of the way on the road to recovery. Our rehabilitation services include inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy, all enhanced by the latest technology, such as functional electrical stimulation (FES) cycle, which helps you regain skills and independence.
Resources and support for stroke patients
The following is a list of stroke-related resources and recovery information:
- American Stroke Association's Stroke Family Warmline at (888) 478-7653 for free patient support services that help families learn more about stroke
- American Stroke Association (ASA), offering the latest version of the ASA Patient and Family Stroke Education Handbook
- National Stroke Association, offering a helpful online guide, Explaining Stroke