Stroke Education and Treatment

Hoag Stroke Month 2021

Stroke is one of the top five leading causes of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. As we celebrate Stroke Awareness Month, Hoag reminds the community about the importance of recognizing the first signs of a stroke and to seek care immediately in the event of a stroke.

This May, join Hoag Stroke Program’s experts for the following activities:

  • Join a health education class to learn about the symptoms and treatment options of a stroke, the effects of stroke on speech, swallowing and cognition, how to prevent a stroke, as well as the importance of emergency care. Register for a class here.
  • Learn how to recognize the first signs of a stroke from Stroke Certified Registered Nurses, Angela James, RN; Dana Jorgensen, RN; and Patricia Murphy, RN.

  • Click here to read the story of a stroke survivor and the amazing care she received at Hoag.

Ranked among the top five percent in the nation for stroke treatment, Hoag has been certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and Hoag Irvine has been certified a Primary Stroke Center by DNV GL Healthcare USA, Inc.* Hoag has also been awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. This is the ninth year Hoag has received the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and the second year for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite.

Hoag Hospital provides comprehensive services for the evaluation, prevention, treatment and ongoing care of stroke patients. When it comes to stroke, studies have shown a significant improvement in outcomes when best practice protocols are applied. Surviving a stroke not only means seeking immediate medical attention at the first sign of symptoms, but also receiving treatment at a medical center experienced in acute stroke management.

Listen to Deb Mastrolia, BSN, RN, CCRN-K, CNRN, SCRN, Stroke Program Manager, talk about ways to prevent a stroke

What is Stroke?

To understand a stroke, think of it as a heart attack that happens in the brain. A stroke (or brain attack) is a potentially fatal condition that occurs when a blood clot, or ruptured blood vessel, interferes with blood flow to the brain. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.

Every 45 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. It is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in adults. Depending on the type, extent and location of the damage – as well as how quickly emergency care is given – a stroke can result in death or may permanently impair a person's ability to move, speak, think, remember, respond normally or live independently.

Warning Signs of Stroke

  • Sudden change in vision – blurred or loss of vision
  • Sudden confusion or difficulty of speech – slurred or sluggish, loss of words or difficulty understanding words
  • Sudden weakness – loss of strength in face, hand, arm and/or leg on one side of the body
  • Sudden loss of balance or dizziness – difficulty walking or clumsiness
  • Sudden change in sensation – heaviness, numbness or unusual sensation in face, hand, arm and/or leg on one side of the body
  • Sudden severe headache, unexplained, often described as the worst headache ever

Even if the symptoms only last a few minutes, it could be a mini-stroke, which is called a TIA (transient ischemic attack). TIA is also a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. An unrecognized and untreated TIA may be followed by a major disabling stroke. Therefore, if any of the above symptoms occur, it is critical to seek immediate emergency treatment.

Another quick way to identify a stroke is to follow the BE FAST signs:

BALANCE - Sudden loss of balance or dizziness

EYES - Sudden blurred vision or loss of vision

FACE - Sudden facial droop or uneven smile

ARM - Sudden arm weakness or numbness

SPEECH - Sudden slurred speech; sudden difficulty speaking or understanding​

TIME – Call 911 and get to the hospital immediately

*Hoag Hospital Newport Beach was certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV GL Healthcare USA, Inc. in October 2016.

Video: Dr. David Brown Discusses Hoag's Stroke Program on Healthy OC
The FDA-approved Penumbra device
Dr Michael Brant Zawadzki and Dr David Brown Discuss Stroke Treatment using the Penumbra device
Dr. David Brown Discusses Hoag's Stroke Program on Healthy OC