High Quality Stroke Care at Long Beach Medical Center
Long Beach Medical Center is a designated Stroke Center, successfully meeting the New York State Department of Health’s rigorous requirements.
Stroke Center designation means that Long Beach Medical Center has successfully implemented a higher standard of stroke care, ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.
“Stroke Center certification means our staff has undergone rigorous training,” says Robert Canter, M.D., Director of Emergency Services at Long Beach Medical Center. “We’ve invested in new technology and secured the involvement of many departments and staff so that patients have the best opportunity to fully recover.”
Our Stroke Team
The stroke team brings together physicians, nurses, and rehabilitation specialists who have special expertise in stroke and cerebrovascular disease.
What Makes a Stroke Center Unique?
Life-saving protocols are set in motion even before the patient arrives in the Emergency Department. A dedicated phone line between EMS responders and LBMC’s Emergency Department alerts staff of a patient’s condition and imminent arrival so precious time can be gained. Time-sensitive protocols such as 24/7 CT scan capability and administering clot-dissolving medications within three hours from the onset of symptoms help prevent or minimize the debilitating effects of a brain attack.
Time is Brain!
In the past, it was believed that once a patient had a stroke, nothing could be done to mitigate the brain damage. Today, there are new medications and new technologies that help avoid the debilitating effects of strokes. The key is getting the patient into the Stroke Center within three hours of the onset of symptoms.
What disabilities can result from a stroke?
Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. The effects of a stroke range from mild to severe and can include paralysis, problems with thinking, problems with speaking, and emotional problems. Patients may also experience pain or numbness after a stroke.
Stroke patients seen at Long Beach Medical Center’s Emergency Department are fortunate to have immediate access to a team of rehabilitation specialists, once their condition is stabilized.
Within the first 24 hours of a patient being seen in the Emergency Department, a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, occupational, physical and speech therapists meets to assess and intervene, offering therapies that help restore function and reduce disabilities.
The continuum continues with step-down treatment offered through
• acute inpatient rehabilitation in the John B. Cullen Rehabilitation Unit,
• short-term rehabilitation at The Komanoff Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine,
• home care services and
• extended outpatient rehabilitation services as the patient’s recovery progresses.
Additional support includes the Medical Center’s Lombardi Program or “Nursing Home Without Walls” for those who wish to remain at home with family but need continued care.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to your brain stops. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die because they stop getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to function.
There are two kinds of stroke. The more common kind, called ischemic stroke, is caused by a blood clot or fatty deposit that blocks a blood vessel in the brain. Approximately 80 % or all strokes are ischemic.
The other kind, called hemorrhagic stroke, is caused by a blood vessel that bursts and bleeds into the brain. Approximately 20% of all strokes are hemorrhagic.
"Mini-strokes" or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), occur when the blood supply to the brain is briefly interrupted. Mini-strokes also require immediate emergency medical attention.
Warning Signs & Symptoms of a Stroke
A stroke can occur suddenly and it is important to act quickly if you or someone you know experiences the sudden onset of the following symptoms:
• Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis 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; and
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
The symptoms of stroke depend on what part of the brain is damaged. In some cases, a person may not even be aware that he or she has had a stroke.
Remember, CALL 9-1-1 immediately if you see one of these symptoms. Even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 immediately. This person may be having a stroke.
Reduce Your Risk of Stroke:
Stroke is one of the most preventable of all life-threatening health problems. By making lifestyle changes and incorporating healthy behaviors, you can help reduce your chances of having a stroke.
Some factors, such as age, gender, race, family history are uncontrollable. However, other factors can be controlled. These include:
• High blood pressure - Get screened for high blood pressure at least every 2 years, especially if you have a family history of high blood pressure. Link to bp screening calendar
• High cholesterol - Have your cholesterol checked. If you are high risk, your LDL “bad” cholesterol should be lower than 70 mg/dl.
• Smoking - Stop smoking. To quit smoking is one of the most beneficial lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health. It will not only reduce your risk of stroke but can help prevent other diseases such as cancer, heart disease and pulmonary disease. For information on smoking cessation programs at Long Beach Medical Center, please click here.
• Weight - Follow a low-fat diet. For information on nutritional counseling, please click here.
• Exercise regularly – The American Heart Association recommends 30-minutes of moderate activity, but three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session.. To join Long Beach Medical Center's Fitwell Club, please click here.
• Diabetes - Keep diabetes well-controlled. Learn how to manage your diabetes. The Diabetes Education Center at Long Beach Medical Center offers individual counseling, group classes and an education/support group to help you manage your diabetes.
With proper attention to the controllable risk factors, the impact of uncontrollable factors can be reduced.
Helpful Resources for more information on Stroke
For more information visit the following websites:
American Stroke Association
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
National Institute of Neurolgocial Disorders and Stroke