Health Plus: Stroke alert ready when patient calls - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Stroke alert ready when patient calls

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the U.S.

What you need to know about detection and treatment in Health Plus.

At Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls, doctors are ready when a brain attack happens.

In other words, a stroke.

"There's an area of the brain that doesn't get enough blood flow so that area of the brain no longer works," said Dr. Gary Jennett.

"So once a stroke alert is raised then an overhead page is raised in the entire hospital and the CT tech is notified, is alerted about this stroke alert," said Dr. Meghna Krishnan, a Sartori radiologist.

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the U.S.

For stroke survivors, significant disability, paralysis, speech and emotional problems can persist.

"Some people do well after a stroke but many times you have some permanent disability either some paralysis on one side of the body or difficulty speaking and it can be so bad that you can lose your independence and end up in a nursing home," said Dr. Jennett.

When a stroke happens, not only is it important to recognize the symptoms, you should call 911 immediately.

"Trouble speaking or trouble moving that people usually notice," said Dr. Jennett.

As for treatment options?

"The earlier the patient gets the medication for stroke the better is the recovery and there's a time window of less than three hours generally," said Dr. Krishnan.

"Many strokes are caused by clots in the blood vessels there's a medication that can break up those clots but it has to be done quickly."

Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo follows the same stroke alert procedure the minute the hospital is notified.

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