This is a paid sponsored announcement from Cayuga Medical Center. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is important to recognize the signs of stroke and know when to call 9-1-1. Cayuga Medical Center, which is designated as a Stroke Center, has some tips and warning signs to remember:

Warning Signs of a Stroke can include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body.
  • When raising both arms with palms up, one arm drifts downward or won’t move.
  • Speech is slurred or garbled, or the person is unable to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.”
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance/coordination.

If someone has any of these symptoms – even if they go away – call 9-1-1 and say, “I think this person is having a stroke” to help get the person to the hospital immediately. Do not try to drive yourself – your symptoms could get worse while you’re driving.

Risk factors for stroke you can change with your doctor’s help:

  • High blood pressure
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • Carotid and other artery disease
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Illegal drug use
  • Transient ischemic attacks
  • Certain blood disorders
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity and obesity
  • Excessive alcohol use

Cayuga Medical Center is designated as a Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health. This designation process is part of a statewide initiative to raise diagnostic and treatment standards and improve access to high quality care for patients with a diagnosis of stroke, which is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability. Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown that patients treated at hospitals with a Stroke Center have reduced mortality and morbidity, fewer complications, improved long-term outcomes, and increased patient satisfaction.

Stroke, also known as “brain attack,” is a medical emergency requiring swift transportation to the nearest medical center and immediate medical treatment by the stroke team. This is a multidisciplinary group including emergency physicians and nurses, neurologists, radiologists, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, and rehabilitation specialists. Team members are available to respond 24/7 in the Emergency Department for the evaluation and treatment of stroke patients.