Local State Certified Stroke Ready Hospital Offers Stroke Warning Sign Tips

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – In conjunction with National Stroke Awareness Month in May, Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia is urging residents to understand and know the warning signs of stroke.

Data shows Arkansas has the fifth highest stroke death rate in the country with over 45 deaths per 100,000 people every year. If more stroke patients receive stroke care within the recommended timeframe, the numbers could be significantly diminished.

As an Arkansas SAVES Program certified Stroke Ready Hospital, BHMC-Arkadelphia is working toward improving stroke patient’s outcomes by providing access to a telehealth neurologist 24 hours a day for initial emergency evaluation, real-time stroke assessment and emergency treatment. In addition, the hospital’s local ambulance service works with the Arkansas Trauma Communications Center to ensure stroke patients are rapidly transported to the most appropriate hospital.

Calling 9-1-1 and getting to the hospital and receiving the appropriate treatment quickly can mean the difference between returning home and living independently or becoming permanently disabled.

Use the acronym F.A.S.T. to determine if you are having symptoms of a stroke. These signs tend to appear suddenly.

  • Face. Does your face look uneven when smiling?
  • Arms. Does one arm drift down or is unable to move when raising both arms?
  • Speech. Is your speech slurred, wrong words come out or you can’t speak at all?
  • Time to call 9-1-1 immediately and get to an emergency room as soon as possible.

A sudden severe headache with no known cause and sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes are also warning signs of a stroke. When you notice any of these, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. If a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is given within three hours of the start of symptoms it may reduce long-term disability.

Baptist Health is the state’s most comprehensive healthcare system. With more than 175 points of access, including nine hospitals, Baptist Health is committed to delivering “All Our Best” in healthcare to Arkansans. For more information about stroke, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.