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Preventing stroke during World Stroke Day, October 29

Date: 10/29/2018

Stroke is a leading cause of death around the world, but it doesn't have to be. On Monday, October 29, World Stroke Day, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is reminding community members to recognize the signs of stroke by acting FAST: If you notice Face drooping, Arm weakness, and Speech difficulty, it is Time to call 911.

When a stroke occurs, blood supply to the brain is cut off, which can cause brain cell damage. But there is hope. The team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has clot-busting drugs on hand to treat the blockage in patients experiencing certain kinds of stroke. This medicine is most effective when given within four hours of symptoms; the earlier, the better.

“When a stroke is happening, often it is painless, so our patients wait longer than they should,” explains Gillian Gordon Perue, MD, medical director, Northern Light Neurology. “Mainers are hardy and independent, and they often power through difficulty, but the best thing you can do is seek help immediately. In fact, emergency medical personnel take steps to help patients before they even reach the hospital.”
 
On October 29, the Stroke Care team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center will provide education and activities in support of World Stroke Day at the Medical Center’s State Street campus to increase awareness about symptoms and ways everyone can decrease the chances of having a stroke. Screenings to assess risk factors will be available to staff members and visitors interested in learning more about prevention.

“It’s never too late to start preventing a stroke,” continues Dr. Gordon Perue. “The healthy habits that are beneficial for overall wellness, such as exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables, lowering your cholesterol, and annual check-ups with your primary care provider also decrease your risk of stroke. We know 80 % of strokes are preventable and we hope community members will consider stopping by and talking to us about reducing risk factors, through smoking cessation programs, and treating diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.”

To learn more about World Stroke Day, visit WorldStrokeCampaign.org or for more information about stroke, visit the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association.

Members of the media interested in speaking to stroke experts on Monday, October 29, please contact Community Relations to schedule an interview by calling 207.973.9530 or emailing: emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.