Sentara Going to Bat to Raise Stroke Awareness

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Provided by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Being early is ideal in a lot of instances, but it can be a game-changer when it comes to detecting a stroke.

The American Heart Association estimates that someone in the United States has a stroke nearly once every 40 seconds.

These numbers don’t surprise the doctors, nurses and staff in the Emergency Department (ED) at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. The ED is usually the gateway for Prince William County’s stroke patients.

“[We work at] an extremely rapid pace once a potential stroke patient arrives; time is brain,” said Jessica Silcox, RN, MSN, ED team coordinator and founder of the hospital’s stroke team.

This team extends outside the hospital walls. When Prince William County’s first responders arrive on the scene, they let Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center know they’re on their way with a potential stroke patient.

That’s when a CODE STROKE is called. In addition to notifying the doctors and nurses in the Emergency Department, the alert signals the teams in radiology (CAT scan) and a number of other departments that an emergent case is imminent.

Time is of the essence when it comes to a stroke. “You lose two million neurons a minute, so every minute, literally, does count when you’re talking about a stroke,” Silcox said.

That’s why education is vital. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, along with the Potomac Nationals, will team up again this year for the Strike Out Stroke event to educate people and raise their awareness of strokes.

This year’s event is on May 5 at the Potomac Nationals G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium. Remember, a stroke is an emergency. Every minute counts, so act F.A.S.T. (face, arms, speech, time).

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