Stroke is SERIOUS! Learn about the risks involved with stroke and how to manage your health to prevent stroke in this Doc Talk with Dr. Mike Previti, Medical Director of the Stroke Program at Valley Medical Center.
Topics covered in this presentation include:
1. Statistics on stroke in South King County–we are about twice the national average in high blood pressure, a major indicator of stroke risk. As Dr. Previti states, “we are a hotbed for vasculopathy” which means our community needs care to prevent stroke.
2. What to ask your primary care provider–first, Dr. Previti notes that 40% of residents in our area don’t have a primary care doc. Talking to your primary provider about your family history of stroke or early heart disease, managing chronic conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes or an inactive lifestyle and poor diet can make all the difference. Develop a relationship with a primary care doc! Find a provider here.
3. What are the symptoms of stroke? FAST is the acronym used to identify a stroke
F – Face: sudden weakness, drooping or loss of control over one side of the face
A – Arms: sudden weakness, inability to move, or numbness in one arm
S – Speech: sudden inability to speak or slurred speech.
T – Time: Call 911 as soon as possible, within 24 hours of these symptoms!
4. Why choose Valley for stroke care? Valley is a thrombectomy capable hospital, meaning we provide both medication for opening blocked blood vessels to restore blood flow to the brain, AND we perform removal of a blockage by a non-invasive catheter procedure called thrombectomy. We provide these services round the clock, and are always ready to treat our stroke patients right away. We also have RN Care Managers who work with our stroke patients to ensure proper recovery care from the day of discharge, through to their follow-up appointment.
5. Vascular issues relating to COVID-19 – Dr. Previti’s message: COVID-19 is serious, and there is increased risk for inflammation in the blood vessels and the forming of blood clots. The most effective way to reduce your risk of stroke due to COVID-19 is to NOT get COVID-19. Practice safe social distancing, limit contact with others, wash your hands frequently, and wear a face covering in public. Also, do not be afraid to see your doctor at Valley, and do not neglect your chronic disease management, as this can increase your risk of severe illness or stroke.