Waterbury Hospital is certified by the Connecticut Department of Public Health as a Primary Stroke Center.
Waterbury Hospital provides the very latest and best treatment options for stroke victims. Our Stroke Center Team treats patients who have had strokes and TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) by providing emergency stroke treatment, as well as education for hospital inpatients and the community on stroke risk factors and warning signs, stroke prevention and rehabilitation.
Recognizing a Stroke:
If you think a loved one is having a stroke, do the “F.A.S.T.” test:
(Face, Arms, Speech and Time)
Ask the person to smile; does one side of the face droop?
Ask the person to raise both arms; does one arm drift downward?
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence; are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
If the person shows any of these symptoms, act FAST and CALL 911.
Click here to view: “Stroke Heroes Act Fast” (Animated Video) produced by
Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Control Program Massachusetts Department of Public Health
What Is A Stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel bringing blood and oxygen to the brain gets blocked or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood, oxygen and nutrients that it needs and brain tissue starts to die. When part of the brain dies the part of the body it controls is affected. Because your brain controls how you move, feel, think and act, having a stroke can affect all of these functions. The result can be paralysis, visual and speech problems as well as cognitive and behavior changes.
What are TIAs? (transient ischemic attacks)
A transient ischemic attack is a “warning stroke” or “mini-stroke” that produces stroke-like symptoms, but has no lasting impact on the patient’s health. Although most strokes are not preceded by TIAs, statistics show that more than one third of those who have experience one or more TIA, are more likely to experience a stroke than those who haven’t. TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily blocks an artery disrupting the necessary blood flow to a part of the brain. The onset of symptoms occurs rapidly, and is usually short-lived, less than five minutes, the average being only one minute.
What Are The Warning Signs of a Stroke or TIA?
Learn to recognize a stroke because time lost is brain lost!
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
Emergency Stroke Treatment
Waterbury Hospital’s Emergency Department is trained to quickly assess stroke patients in order to determine the type of stroke and severity of damage. A CT Scan will be performed and read quickly, to determine if the patient is eligible to receive t-PA, a clot-busting medication shown to significantly reduce long-term disability if given within three hours of the stroke.
After a stroke you may have to change or relearn how you live day to day. The goals of rehabilitation are to increase independence, improve physical functioning, help you gain a satisfying quality of life after a stroke and help you prevent another one. Licensed physical and occupational therapists and speech language pathologists are part of the stroke team and work with physicians, nurses and case managers, to address each patient’s needs and help him or her achieve maximum function.
Physical therapy—improve or regain as much mobility and independence with movement (walking, balance and coordination) as possible
Occupational therapy—assist in every day tasks and self care ( bathing, toileting, and dressing)
Speech therapy—to improve language and speech challenges and treat swallowing disorders
Medical Nutrition Therapy—Assess nutritional status, monitor diet tolerance and provide education on healthy life style options
Knowing your risk for stroke is the first step in preventing stroke. The more risk factors you have, the great the chance of having a stroke. Some you can change or treat by changing your daily habits, having regular medical check ups and taking medications as prescribed.
Risk factors I can change or treat:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Carotid or other artery disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol intake
And risk factors that can’t be changed:
Increasing Age- The older you are the greater your stroke risk
Gender-more men than women have strokes but more women die form stroke
Heredity and race-African Americans and Hispanics have a higher risk of stroke
Prior stroke – if you have had a TIA (transient ischemic attack, a kind of “warning stroke” with stroke symptoms but no lasting damage) or stroke you’re at a high risk of having another
Family history of stroke
Emergency Medicine Physicians
Speech Language Pathologists
Physical and Occupational Therapy Specialists
Our stroke team provides the most evidence based care to diagnose and treat stroke swiftly and
aggressively. The team develops a care plan for each patient that includes physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as a stroke prevention program that may include diet and other lifestyle changes.