Before you or a loved one experience a stroke it’s important to know that the NCH stroke center is committed to better stroke care for you. Cutting-edge techniques along with advanced technology and our highly skilled and experienced stroke team means we can deliver FAST stroke care when you need it.
Rapid assessments in the emergency department with expedited CT scans are performed for you. Neurological consults with the assistance of our teleneurology program help the team determine if you or a loved one are experiencing an acute stroke, so delivery of clot-busting drugs or interventional radiology services can begin quickly. At NCH, the average time from when you arrive in the emergency department until you begin receiving clot-busting drugs (door-to-needle time) is 24 minutes. The national benchmark is 60 minutes.
NCH has the most awarded stroke center in southwest Florida and is the only Joint Commission-certified stroke center in Collier County. NCH also has a comprehensive stroke center designation through the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
Know the risk factors for stroke:
- High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke. If you are diabetic, watch your blood sugar.
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, stop. Get your doctor’s help. You don’t have to go it alone.
- If you have high cholesterol, make diet changes, and take any medicine the doctor has prescribed.
- If you have heart rhythm disturbances like atrial fibrillation, you are at greater risk for stroke. Be sure to take the ‘blood-thinning’ medicine your doctor gives you.
- Try to lose those ‘few extra pounds.’ Controlling your weight will reduce your risk for stroke, lower your cholesterol and control your diabetes.
- TIA’s are often called mini-strokes. This is a temporary interruption to the blood flow to the brain, and warns you that you are at risk for having a larger stroke. Report this to your doctor and get screened for stroke.
- Carotid artery disease. The arteries in your neck can become blocked causing a lack of blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.
- Family History. If your mother or father had a stroke you are more at risk for having one also. Knowing that someone in your family has had a stroke makes it easier for you to identify that you need to make the lifestyle changes to prevent stroke.
- If you have had a stroke yourself it puts you at greater risk for having another. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for decreasing your risks and take your medicines as prescribed.
- If you are of African American descent you are at greater risk for stroke. This is because conditions that can cause stroke are very common in African Americans. The best treatment for stroke is prevention. You can improve your risk by making changes to improve your health.
Awards and Designations
- NCH is a Joint Commission designated Primary Stroke Center
- NCH is an AHCA designated Comprehensive Stroke Center
- NCH received AHA “Get with The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus”