Strokes: It could happen to you or a loved one

Strokes: It could happen to you or a loved one

Courtesy Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton, Denton LIVING WELL Magazine

A stroke occurs in the United States every four seconds, which means that by the time you finish reading this article, four people will have experienced this potentially life-changing event.

A stroke, also known as a brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain stops. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die if proper treatment isn’t taken.

“Strokes are a leading cause of serious, long-term disabilities,” says Mitchel Kruger, M.D., F.A.C.C., cardiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton. “With strokes, seconds matter. The more people who learn the warning signs and simple tests for stroke, the greater the chances are that we can reduce the number of people who suffer the worst stroke impairments.”

Recognize the Warning Signs of Stroke

Timely treatment is critical for reducing the effects of stroke. Watch for the following signs:

• sudden confusion or a severe headache

• sudden numbness or weakness of the face

• difficulty walking or trouble speaking

If you suspect that someone is having a stroke, try following The National Stroke Association’s FAST steps:

Face. Ask the person to smile to reveal muscle weakness in the face.

Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms to check for muscle weakness.

Speech. Ask the person to repeat a sentence and listen for slurred words or the inability to finish the sentence.

Time. If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Look at the clock and remember what time the symptoms started. Share the time symptoms started with a physician, as that can affect treatment options.

Time is Brain

Texas Health Denton recognizes the importance of timely and effective care close to home for stroke victims. The hospital earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for certification as a Primary Stoke Center, along with certification from the American Heart Association. The only hospital in Denton County to earn this award, Texas Health Denton was recognized for demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care. The hospital has also received designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services as a Primary Stroke Center.

“In stroke care, time is brain,” says Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., executive director of Disease-Specific Care Certification at The Joint Commission. “By achieving certification as a Primary Stroke Center, Texas Health Denton has demonstrated the ability to provide effective, timely care to stroke victims and can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

To learn more about Texas Health Denton’s heart and vascular services, visit