May 25, 2017
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St. Catherine’s seeks to raise awareness of stroke factors, symptoms


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BY JAMES LAWSON
jlawson@kenoshanews.com


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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — A local hospital wants people to be aware of the risk factors associated with strokes and heart disease.

As part of Stroke Awareness Month, St. Catherine’s Medical Center, 9555 76th St., hosted screening stations Wednesday, with nurses taking blood pressure readings and talking to visitors about the dangers of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and how to recognize the signs of a stroke, such as a drooping face, arm weakness and difficulty with speech.

The main risk factor for stroke, according to medical center officials, is high blood pressure. Others include tobacco smoking, obesity, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.

Those who had apparent risk factors were advised to make an appointment with their primary care doctor.

A stroke occurs when blood going to the brain is either blocked by a clot or the blood vessel ruptures.

People sometimes experience stroke symptoms and fail to seek quick medical attention, according to Scott McArthey, senior director of United Hospital System, of which St. Catherine’sis a part.

Two months ago, St. Catherine’s was officially certified and recognized as a stroke treatment center.

It has advanced blood clot removal technology using bi-plane imaging, catheters and stints.

“Such advanced technology can mean much improved outcomes,” said Jane Parthum, advanced practice nurse with the stroke center.

“Time is of the essence,” she said. “It’s important to seek care as soon as possible. Let us save your life. Let us save your function,”

Dr. Arvind Ahuja, director of neuro-endovascular services, said with the new technology, a blood clot in the brain can be removed within the first two hours of a stroke, improving chances of preventing serious brain damage.

“We want to get the word out. It’s important that people know the risk factors and the importance of getting treatment as quickly as they can,” he said.


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