National Stroke Awareness Month
The goal of National Stroke Awareness Month, held each year during May, is to create greater public awareness about stroke risk factors so that the number of strokes can be decreased. There are two main types of strokes: an ischemic stroke occurs due to a lack of blood flow; a hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to bleeding. Both types cause parts of the brain to stop functioning correctly. According to cdc.gov, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.
Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley hospitals are certified as primary stroke centers by the Joint Commission. This certification identifies our programs as capable of prompt evaluation and treatment to any stroke patient who comes to our facilities.
Having the stroke center designation reduces response times for area residents suffering from stroke symptoms. This means our patients won’t need to travel for care and will receive treatment in the critical time after symptoms occur. Heritage Valley works closely with local EMS services and developed a refined process for assessing symptoms.
A key aspect of the Heritage Valley stroke response teams is the “telestroke” system Heritage Valley has developed with Pittsburgh hospitals. Heritage Valley Beaver physicians are connected by video to neurologists at UPMC facilities, and Heritage Valley Sewickley physicians are connected to neurologists at Allegheny Health Network.