Erlanger observes National Stroke Awareness month

Chattanooga, Tenn. – Erlanger Health System observesNational Stroke Awareness month during May through continual education in the community about this important and deadly disease.

During a stroke, the average person can lose around two-million brain cells per minute. In 2021, Erlanger treated 1663 strokes, 189 intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH) and 61 subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients. The team performed 166 clot removing procedures known as a thrombectomy and administered 236 doses of Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA). Additionally, Erlanger treated 179 Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) during the same year.

Stroke outcomes are more favorable when the patient received care during the first four hours of onset, as such, it is important for the community to be able to recognize the signs of a stroke. The signs can be remembered with the acronym “BE FAST.”

B – Loss of balance, dizziness, or lack of coordination

E – Eyes, loss of vision, blurred vision especially in one eye, or double vision

F – Facial drooping

A – Arm Weakness

S – Speech, difficulty speaking or understanding speech

T – Time to call 911 for someone showing these symptoms.

Other stroke symptoms may include weakness, numbness or tingling in the face arm and or leg especially on one side of the body; and sudden severe or explosive headache.

There are several risk factors for strokes including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, smoking or a previous TIA. A TIA is considered a mini-stroke and is typically a precursor to a larger issue. TIAs typically do not last long and may seem like a small glitch but should be evaluated by a doctor.

Erlanger is home to the only comprehensive stroke center in the region, the Erlanger Southeast Regional Stroke Center. The stroke team is comprised of physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, social workers, and physical therapists representing several specialties working in concert to provide the most comprehensive care available. To learn more about strokes and stroke care, visit erlanger.org/stroke.