Winchester Hospital is a designated Primary Stroke Service Hospital by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This means that emergency diagnostic and therapeutic services are available 24 hours a day.
What Is a Stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain gets blocked or ruptures. Deprived of blood, nerve cells die within minutes. And when nerve cells don’t function, the part of the body they control can’t function either.
The devastating effects of stroke are often permanent because dead brain cells can’t be replaced. In fact, stroke is the third leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer) and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in America.
For this reason, it is critical to seek immediate medical help by calling 911 for an ambulance and going to the nearest Emergency Department for these sudden symptoms:
At Winchester Hospital, our Emergency Department staff is trained to recognize signs of stroke and acts quickly when someone with symptoms of a stroke comes through our doors.
Risk factors for stroke that can’t be changed include:
- Age. While stroke is common among the elderly, it also affects many people under 65.
- Family history. Your risk for having a stroke is greater if a parent, grandparent or sibling has had a stroke.
- Race. Along with higher risks of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, African Americans also have a higher risk of death from a stroke than Caucasians.
- Gender. Although stroke is more common in men, more women die of stroke. Pregnancy and use of birth control pills pose special stroke risks for women.
- Prior stroke or heart attack. A person who has already had a stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack (a “warning stroke” that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage) is many times more at risk for stroke than a person who has not.
Risk factors for stroke that can be changed, treated or controlled include:
Where to Find Care
If you think you are at risk for having a stroke and you are looking for a doctor who can help you reduce that risk, call our free Physician Referral Service at 1-866-WIN-HOSP (1-866-946-4677) or click here to use our online doctor finder.
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