Fredericksburg Parent

June 2020

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www.FredericksburgParent.NET 21 Stay tuned to the Fredericksburg Parent Facebook page and YouTube channel for a video this month with more information about the Primary Stroke Center at Mary Washington Hospital. "In the future we are hoping to have all these patients come to us directly," Chhabra said. In addition to constantly improving treatment capabilities, Stroke Center staff at Mary Washington Hospital also educate patients about why they had a stroke, and equip them with strategies to help manage their risk in the future. "I don't want to see patients who have been in the hospital coming back with another stroke," Chhabra said. "We address and treat those risk factors, we edu- cate the patient and we give them the appropriate medications when necessary. When that happens, our job is truly complete." 2019 Stroke & Trauma Awareness Expo GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT ROUND OUT TREATMENT Life after a stroke comes with a lot of questions, and stroke treatment at Mary Washington Hospital connects patients with resources that can help them after they leave the hos- pital. A team of stroke survivors volunteer at the hospital, visiting the rooms of stroke patients before they are discharged. This chance to talk with someone who has been in their shoes is often reassuring to patients who are recovering, Chhabra said. "They see these stroke survivors and they see, 'I can live a functional life,'" he said. In addition, the Mary Washington Healthcare Stroke Support Group meets monthly at various locations in the community. It's a place where members can get to know each other, ask questions, find solutions and build morale. An additional support group that meets regularly supports stroke survivors who are living with aphasia—a speech impairment that can happen after a stroke. All of these resources are part of a comprehensive continuum of care that Mary Washington Hospital's Primary Stroke Center provides to help ensure Fredericksburg area residents have the best possible outcomes if they experi- ence a stroke. "I really love working in this community," Chhabra said. "Everyone has a drive and energy to want to improve outcomes for patients and be able to treat stroke efficiently. I feel like we can make a huge impact in Fredericksburg and the greater area." For more information, visit WHO IS AT RISK? Age is a risk factor for stroke, but the real- ity is that many other conditions can put people at risk as early as their 30s or 40s. These include: • High blood pressure • Diabetes • High cholesterol • Smoking • Obesity Atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heartbeat, is a heart condition that affects millions of Americans as they age. This condition interrupts normal blood flow, putting individuals at higher risk of blood clots and stroke. "If someone knows they have atrial fibrillation," Chhabra said, "they should discuss with their primary care doctor or their cardiologist if they are a candidate for blood thinners to prevent stroke." 1.9 million The number of brain cells that die every minute that a stroke goes untreated. KNOW THE SIGNS OF A STROKE Acting quickly when a stroke happens is the most important way to increase the chance of surviving a stroke. To remember the signs of a stroke, think about the letters F-A-S-T. Face Arm Speech Time Chhabra also said that double vision and vertigo are additional symptoms that stroke patients may experience. Is the face drooping on either side? Is there weakness in one arm but not the other? Chhabra also adds that this weakness can occur in the legs. Is the patient slurring his or her words? Strokes happen suddenly. Don't hesitate to call 911 if you think you or someone near you is having one. F A S T

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