Emergency Stroke Care


According to the CDC, each year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. That equates to someone in the U.S. having a stroke every 40 seconds. Knowing how frequently strokes happen is important to help us understand the significance of knowing the signs and symptoms and how to act quickly if we suspect a loved one is experiencing a stroke.

Stroke signs & symptoms

The key to best outcomes for stroke patients is receiving emergency treatment quickly. In order to get them that quick treatment, there’s no time to waste wondering what’s going on or what could be causing their symptoms. It’s important to recognize the signs and get them to the Emergency Department as quickly as possible.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Sudden difficulty walking
  • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

B.E. F.A.S.T.

If you believe someone may be having a stroke, quickly do the following tests:

B—Balance: Ask the person if they feel dizzy. Did the person fall or has the person seemed to have lost their balance?

E—Eyes: Ask the person if they can see clearly. Has their vision changed suddenly?

F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 911 immediately. Note when you first noticed the person’s symptoms. Knowing when the symptoms started is important for healthcare providers to determine the best course of treatment.

As you wait for help to arrive, try to stay calm to help the patient stay calm and to answer the first responders’ questions. Try to keep the person experiencing symptoms in a comfortable position. Check to make sure the person is breathing – if they are not, begin to administer CPR. If they are breathing on their own but experiencing difficulty, loosen any restrictive clothing like tight collars, ties or scarves.

Stroke Care at Mercer Health

Mercer Health is now part of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Telestroke Network. Ohio State is the hub for the Telestroke Network, which delivers Ohio State’s critical stroke expertise into 27 hospitals throughout Ohio.  When someone is having a stroke, every second counts.  By participating in the Telestroke Network, Mercer Health is bringing faster, enhanced stroke care to the community.

The Telestroke Network utilizes video technology that directly links Ohio State stroke specialists to the community hospital physicians. This allows Ohio State’s team to interview the patient, view test results and vital signs and prescribe intravenous clot-buster medications to be administered within minutes. Then Ohio State’s stroke specialists work together with physicians at Mercer Health to determine what the next best step is for the patient’s treatment.

For more information about Mercer Health’s emergency services, visit mercer-health.com.