Sudden cardiac arrest, a condition that causes the heart to suddenly and unexpectedly stop beating, is a leading cause of death in the United States. Blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs and usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes.
- Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States (more than 1,000 per day)
- 89 percent of people in the United States who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die because they don’t receive immediate bystander CPR
- 80 percent of sudden cardiac arrests happen at home
- Without CPR from a bystander, a person’s chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest decreases 7 percent to 10 percent per minute
Watch this video from the American Heart Association to see what your hands can do.
Last year, Robert Baynard laid down for an afternoon nap. When he awoke to take his dog out for his usual evening walk, Robert started staggering and had trouble getting up and down. He went to sleep that night feeling strange, but thinking it wasn’t anything serious.
The next morning, Robert was still feeling strange and by the time he and his wife decided it was time to seek medical attention, he had trouble even getting in the car. They went to the Emergency Department at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, where they learned Robert had suffered a stroke.
Today, Robert is steadily getting back to himself.
Stroke is the number four cause of death and the leading cause of disability in American adults. During National Stroke Awareness Month in May, learn the symptoms of stroke, and make healthy lifestyle choices to lower your risk. If you or someone you know has sudden confusion, numbness of the face or arm or trouble speaking, call 911 right away.
For Robert’s full story and to learn more about stroke, visit durhamregional.org. Then check out our blog each week in May for a new story from a stroke patient or caregiver as part of National Stroke Awareness Month.
Clinical Nurse II, Emergency Department
The sensation hits you abruptly. You have difficulty speaking or understanding what’s going on around you. You lose feeling in an arm or leg. Your head is pounding.
You could be having a stroke, and with a stroke time is brain. It is important to recognize these symptoms quickly and seek emergency medical attention.
Stroke warning signs include:
- sudden, severe headache with no known cause
- sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately! It is also important to note the time at which the symptoms began because the treatment for stroke is time sensitive.
Durham Regional Hospital is a certified stroke center. When a stroke patient arrives in our Emergency Department, we issue an alert called a Code Stroke. This alert notifies a neurologist, the Lab and Radiology departments, nurses and other providers that a potential stroke patient is in the hospital. This process helps ensure fast, efficient care.
Remember: time is brain! When you or a family member experience the warning signs of stroke, call 911!
Our Emergency Department reopened June 27 with a renovated entrance, waiting area, and triage space. In addition to cosmetic upgrades, we have increased security in and around the Emergency Department to make sure our patients and their loved ones are safe when visiting Durham Regional.
Take a virtual tour of our renovated Emergency Department.