What is Stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack and requires immediate medical attention. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, causing brain cells to begin dying from lack of oxygenated blood. If you suspect a stroke, call 911.

There are two major kinds of stroke:

  • Ischemic Stroke - The most common, is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel or artery in the brain. This clot causes a region of the brain to be deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients, leading to death of brain cells.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke – This type of stroke is caused by a blood vessel breaking and bleeding into the brain. Two types of weakened blood vessels that typically cause hemorrhagic stroke are aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
    • Brain Aneurysms - A brain aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel develops a weak area in the wall that allows the vessel to balloon out and fill with blood.
    • Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) - AVMs happen when a group of blood vessels in your body forms incorrectly. In these malformations, arteries and veins are unusually tangled.

Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms

If you experience any of the stroke signs, or identify the signs in someone else, B.E. F.A.S.T. and dial 911. Use the National Stroke Association’s B.E. F.A.S.T. test to help you remember the warning signs and symptoms of stroke:

  • Balance - Balance loss – Check to see if the person has trouble walking or standing up right
  • Eyesight - Eyesight loss – Is the person experiencing loss of eyesight?
  • Face - Facial weakness – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arm - Arm weakness – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech - Speech problems – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can the patient repeat the sentence correctly?
  • Time - If a person is having trouble with these basic commands, call 911 immediately.

Stroke Diagnosis 

Time is critical in preventing further damage to your brain and in reversing the

damage already done during a stroke. For this reason, you should get to an emergency room as quickly as possible. After an initial review of your symptoms and medical history, a physical exam will focus on identifying the area of your brain that is being damaged. Your condition will be stabilized.

The diagnosis evaluation includes:

  • Neurological exams
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Imaging scans

Stroke Treatment 

Strokes are fast. We’re faster. At Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, we treat strokes as a medical emergency. Once a “code stroke” is called our stroke team is activated and ready to provide our patients with rapid treatment.

Having a stroke may dramatically change your lifestyle. But the changes are so varied that they cannot be predicted even after the acute event. You may recover completely from a stroke days, weeks, or months later. A stroke can leave you permanently impaired or the effects may be minimal. The days and weeks after your first stroke may be an entirely new world to you, a world of hard work to recover and retrain whatever functions the stroke deprived you of—speech, walking, use of an arm or leg—and to redirect your life so that you can profit most from your remaining abilities.

Treatment involves the following:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation

Stroke Accreditations 

  • Advanced Certified Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission
  • American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus (2015-2022)
  • American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll (2022)
  • High Performance in the Treatment of Stroke in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2023 Best Hospitals

Advanced Neuroscience Network

We’re a part of the Advanced Neuroscience Network, a broad team of hospitals and doctors in Florida who are focused on offering a full continuum of care throughout South Florida. When you come to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, you’re getting care and insight from a team that stretches across the state.

“It happened so fast, without warning.”

When Alicia Didia started exhibiting signs of stroke, her sons recognized the symptoms and acted promptly. Within minutes, an ambulance arrived to take her to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.

“I was suffering from an ischemic stroke, which occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked. I was given an injection of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busting drug and blood thinner, and five minutes later, I was talking to him like nothing had happened,” says Didia.

“I want to thank the stroke team at Palm Beach Gardens for their quick actions in diagnosing, treating and saving my life before it was too late.”

Stroke Treatment Services

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