Stroke Center

Stroke Center

On average, every four minutes someone dies of stroke.


How to Identify a Stroke: Act FAST

FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

ARMS: Can they raise both arms, or does one drift downward?

SPEECH: Can they repeat a simple phrase, or is their speech slurred?

TIME: CALL 911 immediately if you suspect someone is having a stroke.


Common Stroke Signs and Symptoms

The following signs and symptoms are seen in both men and women, according to the National Stroke Association, include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg -- especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Women may report unique stroke symptoms, inlcuding:

  • sudden face and limb pain
  • sudden hiccups
  • sudden nausea
  • sudden general weakness
  • sudden chest pain
  • sudden shortness of breath
  • sudden palpitations


Stroke can be caused by:

  • a clot obstructing blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke)
  • a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) 
  • a temporary clot called a TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke.”

When a stroke occurs, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it begins to die. Brain function, future abilities and life itself are threatened every minute a stroke goes untreated. Every minute the brain is without oxygen, 2 million brain cells die.

The Good News

Sacred Heart is a Certified Primary Stroke Center. The hospital has earned a Gold Performance Achievement Award from the American Stroke Association. And it offers the most extensive stroke treatment options, including:

  1. A clot-busting medicine that is administered intravenously.
  2. An intra-arterial (IA) procedure that delivers a clot-busting medicine directly to the blood clot in the brain.*
  3. A clot-retrieval procedure that can break-up a clot and remove it from the brain up to eight hours after the onset of stroke symptoms.*

*Only available in this area at Sacred Heart Hospital

What Can You Do To Prevent Stroke?

The risk factors for stroke can be divided into two categories: those you can’t change and those you can.

What you can’t control

  • Age – your chances of stroke go up as you age
  • Gender ­– men have a slightly higher risk than women
  • Race - African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American people are at higher risk for stroke
  • Family history – if your immediate family member has had a stroke, your risk increases

What you can control

  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol under control
  • Reduce the amount of salt and fat in your diet (click for tips)
  • Exercise more
  • Stop smoking
  • Keep your weight in control
  • Limit alcohol use

The best way to prevent stroke is to know your risk factors and how to manage them.
Take our 7-minute StrokeAware assessment now and find out where you stand.