Stroke Care

The UMC Stroke Center provides comprehensive treatment and care through prevention, diagnosis, treatment and support for stroke patients and their families. By combining the compassion of our physicians with the latest technology, UMC’s Primary Stroke Center brings a level of training and coordination to stroke care that has long been absent from the South Plains.

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Our expert physicians and staff promote improvement in the quality of care and services through the use of state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge research. Our compassionate staff assists patients and their families with the physical and emotional impact of a stroke.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Texas and the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Recognizing stroke symptoms early on is critical to successful outcomes. From paramedics to neurosurgeons, UMC has trained its staff to quickly diagnose stroke and take the actions needed to save lives.

What is a Stroke?

Stroke

A stroke is the interruption of blood flow to a part of the brain. This can happen in one of two ways:

  • Ischemic Stroke: This means a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain gets blocked by cholesterol filled plaque, or by a blood clot that forms elsewhere in the body, breaks free, and lodges near the brain. About ninety percent of strokes are ischemic.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: A blood vessel in the brain ruptures, leaking blood either into the brain or into the space between the brain and the skull. High blood pressure is the leading cause of hemorrhagic stroke.

Mini-stroke or TIA

A mini-stroke, also called a transient ischemic attack (TIA), has the same symptoms as stroke, but usually disappears within 60 minutes. A mini stroke is often a warning sign of a major stroke about to happen. It provides a window of opportunity for you to prevent a major stroke that could cause lasting damage. Call 911 right away! UMC EMS personnel are trained to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and start treatment before a patient reaches the emergency room.

Signs and Symptoms

Know when to get help F.A.S.T! Getting help quickly can reduce stroke damage. Call 911 instantly if you suddenly have:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arms, or legs especially on one side.
  • Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance
  • Severe headache with no known cause
FAST

It is estimated that 32,000 brain cells die every second treatment does not occur. For the best chance of recovery, treatment should be initiated within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.

Risk Factors

Risk Factors you CAN control:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • A diet high in sodium and saturated fats

Risk Factors you CAN’T control:

  • Age. People over 55 are more likely to have a stroke.
  • Race. People of African ancestry are more likely to have strokes.
  • Family History. If someone in your immediate family has had a stroke, your chances of having one are higher.
  • Heart Disease. Your risk of stroke is higher if you have had a heart attack or certain other heart conditions, such as atrial fibrillation.

The UMC Stroke Center is dedicated to providing ongoing stroke education and support to our patients, families and within the community. Exceptional care today provides hope for tomorrow.

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