Time is critical when recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke. If you or someone you know experiences symptoms, the National Stroke Association says to act F.A.S.T.

  • F (ace) – when the person smiles, does one side of his or her face droop?
  • A (rms) – does one arm drift downward when the person tries to raise both arms?
  • S (peech) – can you understand the person when he or she tries to repeat a simple sentence?
  • T (ime) – if any of these symptoms are present, call 911 immediately.

Other signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden onset of confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding speech
  • Sudden weakness or numbness of face, arm, or leg
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, or double vision
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss or balance, or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Why should you call 911?

  • Emergency medical services (EMS) are equipped with knowledge and resources that can save your life
  • EMS services can get the patient to the hospital faster
  • EMS services can start treatment – obtain vital signs, EKG, insert IV, check blood sugar level and obtain blood samples
  • Notifies hospital of patient with stroke symptoms – stroke team is waiting for patient

Clear Lake Regional Medical Center is certified by DNV Healthcare, Inc. as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. This certification improves the quality of care provided to patients, demonstrates commitment to a higher standard of services, provides framework for organizational structure and management, enhances staff recruitments and development, and is recognized by insurers and other third parties.

The clot-busting drug, Alteplase has been shown to significantly increase the chances of a good outcome after an ischemic stroke. The standard is to administer Alteplase within 60 minutes of arrival to the hospital. Clear Lake Regional Medical Center is continuously working to decrease the administration time to less than 45 minutes and currently the average time from arrival to the patient receiving Alteplase is 44 minutes.

The hospital has partnered with EMS agencies to implement an early notifications the Emergency Department (ED) when they are bringing a possible stroke patient. This allows the ED to activate the stroke team so they are waiting in the emergency room for the patient to arrive. The patient is quickly seen by a physician and EMS takes the patient to CT scan for head imaging. After the scan, the patient is brought back to the emergency room where the stroke team completes their assessment and the pharmacist prepares the Alteplase for administration.