Patient recognized the signs of stroke and got help immediately

It was a hot summer day with temperatures soaring into the 90s.  John thought that the heat was getting to him when he began to feel dizzy while making tea. “I turned off the stove and went to get something cool to drink,” he said. At that point, he realized that what he was experiencing was something more serious. Because John recognized the urgency of what was happening to him, he did not hesitate to call for help. “I am aware of the signs of stroke, and realized that I needed to get some help right away.”

As he lost the strength on the right side of his body, he called 9-1-1.  Within minutes he was brought to the emergency department at MelroseWakefield Hospital, the only community hospital in Massachusetts to be certified as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital by the Joint Commission.

“When it comes to treating stroke, timing is extremely important,” said Alexander Walker, MD, chair of emergency medicine at MelroseWakefield Hospital. “Essentially, during a stroke there is a three-hour window in which to get treatment. If appropriate treatment is delivered in that time, there is a chance of reversing the effects of the stroke.”

John received the appropriate care quickly, the effects of his stroke were all reversed, and he was home within two days.

“I take care of myself, eat right, exercise, and stay informed about my health,” said John. “I knew how important it was to get to the hospital quickly. The last thing on my mind was wondering if the hospital would be safe. I trusted that would be the case.”

“Both nationally and locally there are reports of people suffering from serious and life-threatening conditions such as stroke and heart attack, and not seeking immediate treatment due to concerns about COVID-19,” said Dr. Walker. “Hospitals are prepared to treat patients safely. We are following all of the necessary precautions, including screening patients as they enter and providing face masks and hand sanitizer. Our emergency department has separate areas for patients with COVID-19 symptoms, and those without.”

“If you are experiencing any of the signs of stroke,” added Dr. Walker, “including face droop, arm or leg weakness or trouble speaking, don’t delay your care…call 9-1-1 immediately. We are here to take care of you, and you’ll be safe with us.”

Watch this video to learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatment of stroke.

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