A Stroke is a Life-threatening Medical Emergency

BEFAST at these common signs of a stroke:

  • BALANCE: Does the person have sudden loss of balance?
  • EYES: Does the person have loss of vision in one or both eyes?
  • FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • SPEECH: Speech or language difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Is the person confused? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
  • TIME: CALL 9-1-1 if the patient suddenly shows any of these symptoms or they are accompanied by loss of vision or double vision, loss of balance with dizziness, or "the worst headache of his/her life." Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, clumsiness. There may be a sudden loss of strength or sensation in the face, arm or leg, or a combination of the three.

When stroke occurs, caused by the rupture or obstruction (a clot) of a blood vessel of the brain, the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die within a few minutes. Learn more about stroke.

The FDA approved medication, tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), can dramatically increase the chance of recovery after stroke, but must be administered within 3 hours of symptoms' onset.

If you think you're having a stroke, or you are experiencing stroke symptoms call 9-1-1 and get qualified help.

The Emergency Room at Riverside Community Hospital is located at 4445 Magnolia Avenue. The stroke care provided to patients is based upon scientific evidence and nationally accepted guidelines.

The multidisciplinary stroke team of doctors and nurses at Riverside Community Hospital is equipped to acutely treat stroke patients, and to identify stroke symptoms as quickly as possible. Our Emergency Department has implemented an Acute Stroke Protocol to ensure the rapid evaluation and treatment of patients who are potential candidates for this stroke treatment.