Piedmont Columbus Regional raising stroke awareness throughout May

Published: May. 6, 2019 at 4:26 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - We in the Chattahoochee Valley live in what is called the stroke belt where people are more likely to experience a stroke due to certain lifestyles and poor eating choices.

There is a common misconception that strokes happen in the heart, but a stroke can only stem from the brain.

Piedmont Director of Neuroscience Kelli Brennan says last year they admitted and treated over 800 stroke patients in Columbus.

She says knowing the risk factors and your family history of diabetes, heart disease and high-blood pressure can help prevent strokes.

“Avoiding fried, fatty foods and following a good healthy well-balanced diet, staying active and exercising and quitting smoking,” are a few things Brennan says can help reduce your risk of stroke.

There are two different kinds of strokes, both of which can be deadly if you do not seek medical attention immediately following symptoms.

“So, an ischemic stroke is that’s where a blood clot or plaque is clogging or blocking one artery and not allowing blood to pass through to perfuse the tissue and a hemorrhagic stroke is where the artery actual ruptures or bursts and you get bleeding into the brain,”said Brennan.

Some have even reported a stroke after simply cracking their neck.

“When that twisting, jerking motion is done to the neck those arteries are pretty superficial so they will tear on the inside and the lining from the inside of to the lining to the outside of it kind of splits and you can get blood clots where that injury occurred and blood clots will go up into the brain and cause a stroke,” said Brennan.

There is an easy way to remember how to recognize the symptoms with the acronym FAST.

Face drooping

Arm weakness

Slurred speech

Time, which is the most important

Piedmont works hand-in-hand with first responders on getting a head start on how to treat a stroke patient. It is recommended to never try and drive yourself if you believe you are experiencing a stroke, you should always call 911.

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