New Neurohospitalist Team at Billings Clinic Encourages You to BEFAST
Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, about 610,000 of which are first or new strokes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted by a clot or bleeding. This interruption causes brain cells to go without oxygen. Cells in the brain can start to die within minutes, which is why it is so important to seek treatment quickly when stroke is suspected.
“The faster patients get emergency treatment for stroke, the better their prognosis and recovery,” said Dr. Gauhar Chaudhary, Billings Clinic Stroke Program Director. “There are treatments we can offer in the first few hours from stroke onset which can dramatically improve the outcome so it is critical to call 911 immediately.”
The signs of a stroke are easy to remember with the acronym BEFAST:
· Balance loss- Loss of balance or coordination. Headache or dizziness.
· Eyes blurred- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes, with blackened, blurred or double vision.
· Face drooping- One side of the face is drooping or numb.
· Arm weakness- Weakness in the arm, leg or face, especially on one side.
· Speech difficulty- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
· Time to call- Seconds count. Call 911 now.
“Some people are at greater risk for stroke due to lifestyle or other underlying health conditions,” Dr. Chaudhary added. “Most of these risk factors are within a person’s control to reduce or eliminate with lifestyle changes like proper nutrition, physical activity, quitting smoking and taking medications as recommended by your physician; we call these modifiable risk factors,” said Dr. Chaudary. “Some of these, such as diabetes and carotid artery disease can be modified with the help of your physician.”
Stroke risk factors within your control to decrease/eliminate include:
· High Blood Pressure
· High Cholesterol
· Carotid Artery Disease
· Obstructive sleep apnea
Additional nonmodifiable risk factors include:
· Family history of stroke
· Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
With a focus of treatment and recovery of stroke patients in addition to many other neurological conditions, neurohospitalists at Billings Clinic are a team of specialists providing world-class neurologic care to hospitalized patients. The team of specialists provides world-class neurologic care to hospitalized patients. They have expertise in the management of the full range of inpatient neurology. Many team members have additional subspecialty expertise which makes the team uniquely situated to meet both general and subspecialty neurologic needs.
For more information about stroke, visit www.billingsclinic.com/stroke.