Approximately eighty percent of strokes can be avoided by controlling your risk factors for stroke. The most common, modifiable risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider to understand which risk factors you might have and how to make lifestyle changes to decrease your risk of stroke.
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, scheduling annual visits with your primary care provider and taking medications as prescribed are all lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk for stroke.
If you or someone you know has a stroke, time is of the essence! Access to quick treatment has been shown to improve stroke outcomes and recovery. When you arrive at the hospital, one of the first treatment options is the use of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which works to break down blood clots. However, it can only be administered within four and a half hours after the onset of stroke symptoms. If that doesn’t work, the next treatment option is surgical intervention for clot retrieval, and it can be performed between six and eight hours after onset. Currently, Cone Health is researching methods that will allow these treatment options to be effective for up to twenty-four hours.
The quicker a stroke patient receives care, the better their outcomes. If experiencing stroke symptoms, do not hesitate; call 911 immediately and let them take you to the nearest hospital to receive proper care. Cone Health Stroke Center, located at Moses Cone Hospital, has a highly specialized team that coordinates a state-of-the-art program to identify and treat stroke patients quickly and effectively.
Jason Clum is the system-wide stroke coordinator at Cone Health. He received his Associate of Nursing from Columbia–Greene Community College in New York. Jason received his master’s degree in nursing from Excelsior College and a master’s degree in business administration from Touro University California. He is a stroke certified and neuroscience certified nurse through the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses.