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Health SceneBY MARTINSON ARNAN, MDAs one of the leading causes of death in the United States, recognizing the signs of stroke may save your life. On average, one American dies from stroke every four minutes. Learn more about the warning signs and talk to yourSupport after a stroke. If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, the recovery can feel lonely at times. But it doesn’t have to. Join the Bronson Stroke Survivor Monthly Support Group to learn more about the effects of stroke, tools for coping, and resources for survivors and caregivers. Each month speakers pres- ent on a variety of topics, education and open discussion related to about tips and tricks to stay healthy. What is a Stroke? A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain stops. There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hem-orrhagic.• Ischemic stroke is caused when plaqueor clots block a blood vessel in your brain or neck. It is the most common type of stroke.At the support group, you will:• Find someone who understands what• Hemorrhagic stroke is caused when a vessel in your brain breaks causing bleeding in the’ve been through.• Find out that you’re are not alone in thisRisk Factors• Enjoy a lower salt, lower fat diet.• Ask your doctor how you can lowerrecovery process – many people of all• Advanced age: most strokes occur in people age 65 years or older, but they can occur at any ageyour stroke risk.ages have traveled this road.• Not only learn from others but teach• Family history of stroke• Ethnicity: African-Americans have aCall 911 and get to a hospital fast.them something valuable, too.higher stroke risk• Gender: women have more strokes thanDuring a stroke, time is vital. It’s important to call 9-1-1 right away so first responders can make sure the Stroke Team at Bron- son Battle Creek is ready the moment you arrive. Once you get to the hospital, doc- tors will initiate the clot-busting drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) in the emer- gency department. If more complex stroke treatment is needed, you’ll be quickly transferred to a team of stroke specialists at Bronson Methodist Hospital.The support groups meet on the third Thursday each month. In Battle Creek, it’s led by Susan VanderWeide, RN. For more information, call (269) 441-0957. In Kalamazoo, it’s led by Jamie Warner, RN, stroke nurse navigator at Bronson Neuro- science Center. For more information, call (269) 341-7500.Martinson Arnan, vascular neurol- ogist, Bronson Neuroscience Cen- ter, is the medical director of stroke at know when the stroke happened. In the past, if you didn’t treat someone within six hours of a stroke, it was no longer safe to treat them. Today, time is still critical to save brain cells. However, using a new advanced imaging technol- ogy called RAPIDTM, I can quickly and easily take a picture of someone’s brain and see if it’s still safe to remove the clot – regardless of if it’s been six hours or 24, and stroke kills more women thanmen• Being overweight• Prior stroke or heart attack• Medical conditions: blood pressurelevels, atrial fibrillation, cholesterolRecognize the Signs of a StrokeAct FAST to Recognize Stroke SymptomsTo assess whether you or someone you love is having a stroke, Act F.A.S.T.F – Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?A – Arms: Ask the person to hold up both arms. Does one arm drift downward?S – Speech: Ask the person to complete a simple sentence like, “John and Jane went on a picnic.” Are the words slurred? Does the person repeat the sentence correctly?T – Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is very important. Call 911 immediately and get to a hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.Free Stroke Events in Battle CreekSigns and Symptoms of Stroke• May 16, 11:30am–1pm.• Kool Family Community Center• Register at Dr. Simeon Zou, neurologist at Bronson Neuroscience Center – Battle Creek, will explain stroke risk factors, how to manage those risks in everyday life, and the signs and symptoms of stroke. The program is free and a box lunch will be served.Stroke Survivor Support Group• May 16, 1–2pm• YMCA of Battle Creeklevels, and diabetes• Lifestyle choices: tobacco use orNew technology helps save more of your brain. To help someone who’s had a stroke, it’s always been importantsmoking and alcohol useReduce your stroke risk. You can take steps to help lower your stroke risk:• Know your blood pressure. If high,work with your doctor to lower it.• Ask your doctor if you have atrial fibril-lation (irregular heartbeat).• If you smoke, stop.• If you drink alcohol, limit to no morethan two drinks per day.• Find out if you have high cholesterol. Ifso, work with your doctor to control it. • If you are diabetic, work with your doc- tor to control your overall blood sugars.• Move more. Include exercise and physi- cal activities you enjoy in your daily routine.12 SCENE 4405 I CELEBRATING SENIORS

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