You and your family should recognize the warning signs of stroke and call 9-1-1 immediately if they occur. Fast action is the best course to prevent damage from stroke if it occurs. Falmouth Hospital is a Primary Stroke Service Hospital, right here on the Cape. Along with our exceptional team at Cape Cod Hospital, we have the skills and expertise to treat stroke symptoms with the latest in care.
What are the warning signs of a stroke?
Don’t ignore these warning signs, even if they go away. Timing is important.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you think you or someone else is having a stroke:
- Do not call your doctor first – CALL 9-1-1
- The fastest way to be seen in the ER is to come in by ambulance
What to expect when you arrive at the ER with a suspected stroke
- You’ll be observed for any changes in your condition
- The doctors will be doing tests to help find the cause of your stroke
- The cause of the stroke helps determine what medication you’ll need to prevent another stroke. Be aware, however, there are many cases in which a cause of stroke cannot be determined
- Your stroke risk factors will be identified and treated, if necessary
- You will be assessed by our rehabilitation team to determine what therapies, if any, you will need after discharge, including location (inpatient or outpatient)
- Most patients improve after a stroke; the fastest improvement is in the first three months
What tests are performed?
Recovery from your stroke can begin right away
In rehabilitation (or “rehab”), stroke patients participate in therapy to help them regain control of their bodies through exercise, education and emotional support. Rehabilitation may take place on an inpatient basis or at home.
Stroke rehabilitation begins right away. Stroke patients often recover at a faster rate in the first three months and may continue to improve for years. Daily rehabilitation exercises should continue when the patient returns home.
An important part of the rehabilitation is taking the steps to prevent a future stroke. This may mean following through with taking prescribed medicine and making some lifestyle changes.
How long does rehabilitation take?
- For many people, rehabilitation is an ongoing process
- The road to recovery can be long and frustrating
- Keeping a positive outlook is important
- The support of family and friends is also important
Active participation speeds recovery
- Be involved as much as possible in your care
- Participate in a stroke rehabilitation program as soon as possible
- Have at least one family member go to therapy sessions with you
- Ask for help if you are feeling sad, depressed or helpless
The rehabilitation team may include staff with different skills.
A stroke Patient Education Guide [pdf] is available for further information.