A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), affects the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bringing oxygen and nutrients to the brain bursts or is clogged by a blood clot or some other particle. Because of this rupture or blockage, part of the brain doesn’t get the flow of blood it needs. Deprived of oxygen, nerve cells can’t work either. The devastating effects of stroke are often permanent, because dead brain cells aren’t replaced.
Symptoms of Stroke
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you'll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:
- Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
- Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.
For more information on recognizing stroke, click here.
Initiatives to Improve Stroke Outcomes
Arkansas Stroke Registry
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) launched the Arkansas Stroke Registry (ASR) to collect patient data from hospitals treating Arkansans. This program allows ADH to partner with facilities to help track, measure, and optimize the quality of stroke care for all Arkansans. Click here for more information on the ASR program.
The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas has long recognized the importance of improving stroke care in our state and approved Act 663 in 2005 to form the ASCTF.
Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospitals
Click the link for the map of hospitals participating in Arkansas’ Stroke System of Care. This includes Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers, Primary Stroke Centers, and ADH designated Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospitals (ArSRHs). To apply to become an ArSRH, complete (a) the last 3 pages of the Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospital (ArRSH) Application and Toolkit and (b) include the required attachments in a separate document. For a list of attachments examples, click here: Arkansas Stroke Ready Hospital Application and Templates. Once complete, email the 3-page application and packet of attachments (labeled by name and number) to Dr. Tammie Marshall and David Vrudny.
Facilities designated as ArSRHs are capable of providing time-critical care to the stroke patient, including initial emergency evaluation, real-time stroke assessment and treatment through telemedicine. EMS providers screen patients with standardized protocols to effectively recognize stroke and make sure patients receive the right kind of care.
Contact Information for the ADH Stroke Program:
Arkansas Department of Health
4815 W. Markham St., Mailing Slot 14
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205-3867