Wednesday, March 20, 2019

2019 Stroke Camp List


www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/


United Stroke Alliance in partnership with Medtronic launched a new resource for Stroke Support Groups called The Booster Box. Included in the box is everything a leader needs to conduct a support group meeting for up to 24 attendees.

To receive your free Booster Box please call our office at 
309-688-5450 or email info@strokecamp.org to request yours. 

Subscriptions will be available for purchase and information will be inside your free box.  

Show Me The Booster Box
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2019 Stroke Camp List and Open Registration Dates for
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp


We get a lot of inquiries regarding registration. We are working at getting things set up for camp registrations to begin. 
We cannot accept any names until your camp's registration opens up on its specified date and time! See list below and check back frequently at: www.strokecamp.org for updates.
There is a process of getting all the agreements and details in order before opening up for campers and volunteers to register. We will be opening camps up as soon as we have things in order and at the request of the sponsor as well. Check the website and Facebook frequently, we will be posting opening dates there. We cannot accept any names until registration opens up! Please do not send payment until you submit your registration at the time it opens up.
Below is a list of our camp dates and locations which many of you have already seen in our latest newsletter. Here is the complete list with the information we are able to release at this point in time! 
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GREENVILLE CAMP **NEW**
Sponsored by Prisma Health
Camp Dates: April 26-28
Camp Location: Unicoi State Park in Helen, GA
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
EASTERN IOWA CAMP
Sponsored by Mercy Cedar Rapids and University of Iowa Health Care
Camp Dates: May 3-5
Camp Location: Camp Courageous in Monticello, IA
Registration opens TODAY (March 19) @ 10:00am CT (Campers and Volunteers)
First Come/First Serve
DIGNITY: MAY CAMP
Sponsored by Dignity Health
Camp Dates: May 17-19
Camp Location: Chapel Rock Camp in Prescott, AZ
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
GOOD SAMARITAN CAMP
Sponsored by Platte Valley -SCL Health and SCL Health -Good Samaritan
Camp Dates: May 31-June 2
Camp Location: Highlands Presbyterian Camp & Retreat Center
Registration opens Friday, March 29 @ 9:00am MT (Campers and Volunteers)
First Come/First Serve
NEW JERSEY CAMP
Sponsored by Atlantic Health System
Camp Dates: May 31-June2
Camp Location: Fellowship Deaconry Ministries in Basking Ridge, NJ
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
INDIANA CAMP
Sponsored by Franciscan Health Foundation and Franciscan Health-Indianapolis/Moorseville, Franciscan Helath Auxiliary Lafayette, IBEW, Work-Comp Management Services, and Virginia Downing
Camp Dates: May 31-June2
Camp Location: Turkey Run Inn in Marshall, IN
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
OHIO CAMP
Sponsored by OhioHealth and the Ohio Health Rehabilitation Hospital
Camp Dates: June 7-9
Camp Location: Maumee Bay Lodge & Conference Center
Camper Registration opens Monday, April 15 @ 9:00am ET -Lottery System -Call the United Stroke Alliance office at opening to submit your name into the lottery system
Volunteer Registration OPEN NOW -Exclusive to OhioHealth employees ONLY at this time -Please print, fill out the form and send it back to the United Stroke Alliance office
WAUSAU CAMP **NEW**
Sponsored by Aspirus Health System
Camp Dates: June 7-9
Camp Location: Forest Spring Camp & Conference Center in Westboro, WI
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
BOSTON CAMP
Sponsored by Brigham & Women's Hospital
Camp Dates: June 14-16
Camp Location: Warren Conference Center in Ashland, MA
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
PITTSBURGH CAMP
Sponsored by UPMC Rehabilitation and Stroke Institutes
Camp Dates: June 14-16
Camp Location: Crestfield Conference Center in Slippery Rock, PA
Camper Registration opens Monday, April 1 @ 10:00am ET -10 Returning Campers/10 New campers
Volunteer Registration CLOSED
AMITA CAMP
Sponsored by Amita Health Neurosciences Institute
Camp Dates: July 12-14
Camp Location: Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
ROCKFORD I CAMP
Sponsored by Mercyhealth, Illinois Neurological Institute, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Swedish American, and Van Matre Encompass Health
Camp Dates: July 19-21
Camp Location: Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
DIGNITY: MAY CAMP
Sponsored by Power of the Purse, EncompassHealth, Dignity Health
Camp Dates: July 29-31
Camp Location: Chapel Rock Camp in Prescott, AZ
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
FAMILY CAMP
Sponsored by United Stroke Alliance
Camp Dates: August 1-4
Camp Location: Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
INI CAMP
Sponsored by Illinois Neurological Institute at OSF 
Camp Dates: August 2-4
Camp Location: Pilgrim Park Camp in Princeton, IL
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
CHEYENNE CAMP
Sponsored by Cheyenne Regional Medical Center
Camp Dates: August 9-11
Camp Location: Highlands Presbyterian Camp & Retreat Center in Allenspark, CO
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
ST. JOHN CAMP
Sponsored by Ascension St. John Hospital
Camp Dates: August 16-18
Camp Location: Weber Retreat & Conference Center in Adrian, MI
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
DETROIT: HENRY FORD CAMP
Sponsored by Henry Ford Health System and DeMaria
Camp Dates: August 23-25
Camp Location: Faholo Conference Center in Grass Lake, MI
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
TOLEDO CAMP **NEW**
Sponsored by St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center
Camp Dates: August 23-25
Camp Location: Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
ROCKFORD II CAMP
Sponsored by Mercyhealth, Illinois Neurological Institute, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Swedish American, VanMatre Encompass Health
Camp Dates: August 23-25
Camp Location: Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
MADISON CAMP
Sponsored by UW Health
Camp Dates: September 6-8
Camp Location: Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, WI
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
SYRACUSE CAMP **NEW**
Sponsored by Upstate University Hospital -Syracuse
Camp Dates: September 6-8
Camp Location: Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland, NY
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
PONTIAC CAMP
Sponsored by St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
Camp Dates: September 6-8
Camp Location: Faholo Conference Center in Grass Lake, MI
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
ASHEVILLE CAMP
Sponsored by Mission Health
Camp Dates: September 13-15
Camp Location: Lake Junaluska Conference Center in Lake Junlauska, NC
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
LINCOLN CAMP
Sponsored by Lincoln Partnership, Bryan Health, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, CommonSpirit Health
Camp Dates: September 13-15
Camp Location: Carol Joy Holling Center in Ashland, NE
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
BILLINGS CAMP
Sponsored by St. Vincent Healthcare
Camp Dates: September 20-22
Camp Location: Rock Creek Resort in Red Lodge, MT
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
COLUMBIA CAMP **NEW**
Sponsored by Maury Regional Medical Center
Camp Dates: September 20-22
Camp Location: Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, AL
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
ODESSA CAMP
Sponsored by Medical Center Health System
Camp Dates: October 4-6
Camp Location: Ceta Canyon Retreat Center in Happy, TX
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
VCU CAMP
Sponsored by VCU Health
Camp Dates: October 11-13
Camp Location: Airfield Conference Center in Wakefield, VA
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
CHATTANOOGA CAMP
Sponsored by Erlanger Health System, HealthSouth, Siskin Hospital
Camp Dates: October 18-20
Camp Location: Cohutta Springs Conference Center in Crandall, GA
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
TOPEKA CAMP
Sponsored by Kansas Family Stroke Foundation
Camp Dates: October 18-20
Camp Location: Rock Springs 4-H Center in Junction City, KS
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
WILIMINGTON CAMP **NEW**
Sponsored by New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Camp Dates: November 15-17
Camp Location: Rockfish Camp & Conference Center in Parkton, NC
Please keep checking back for more registration dates and details
Please check now for your camp's registration date at: www.strokecamp.org. If it isn't open yet, just keep checking back frequently. 
This blog post is just a reminder. I will not be updating camp open dates on this blog. For access to the most current camp status please go to: www.strokecamp.org

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Stroke Has 19 Definitions Part 2 of 2


www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/


United Stroke Alliance in partnership with Medtronic launched a new resource for Stroke Support Groups called The Booster Box. Included in the box is everything a leader needs to conduct a support group meeting for up to 24 attendees.

To receive your free Booster Box please call our office at 
309-688-5450 or email info@strokecamp.org to request yours. 

Subscriptions will be available for purchase and information will be inside your free box.  

Show Me The Booster Box
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Stroke Has 19 Definitions Part 2 of 2
by Chuck Hofvander

For nine days I was unaware of my condition, unaware that the world was still out there. Over the next few days I learned the details of what had happen to me. I had suffered a brain attack and my once normal, comfortable world for 52 years, had been changed for ever.

They fed me through a feeding tube in my stomach, no taste of steak, or potatoes or beer for me. I couldn’t walk, move my right arm, talk, read, or write. Slowly I had to relearn the things all of us take for granted. my normal life was suddenly un-normal.

I was an inpatient in a rehab hospital for five weeks and I continued rehab on an off to this day. I still have some trouble walking, reading, speaking, and writing and I still have little movement in my right arm. But I am alive and I am able to function.

During this entire process, my wife and sons did not let me rest when I was not “officially” in therapy. They stretched my arm, and legs. They read my favorite books, and played music. They did all they could do to stimulate me. My wife made the therapists provide a copy all the exercises and lessons they did with me.

Through hard work and determination I have recovered a great deal but I am still not the way I used to be. A friend of mine commented that I was goofy before the stroke and he didn’t notice much difference!

The worst part of my stroke was aphasia. Aphasia is an impairment of the ability to communicate, not an impairment of intellect. Aphasia can range from just missing a word now and then to the inability to communicate at all. Aphasia is not well known, but there are 100,000 new aphasia survivors EACH YEAR in the U.S. alone. Some like Dick Clark are well known but there are many others who are hidden from view because of their inability to communicate.

Through years of hard work and perseverance I improved a great deal. Yet, I’m not nearly back to the way I was. I can “think it” but have difficulty “saying it’ or “writing it”. My voice and writing seem to have wills of their own. A clear thought comes into my mind but when I try to convert it to speech it gets garbled up.

As for reading, challenging is too mild a term. Before the brain Attack I used to read three books at one time, now I can barely read one book a month.

I have problems with reading the written words. I insert words, omit words, read the same line several times, and sometimes words are unintelligible.

My sons are only mildly surprised by my writing, reading, and speaking skills. Repeated MRI’s of the left side of my brain (the side that controls reading and speech) shows that it’s essentially missing. I told this to my sons and they looked surprised. I asked them what’s wrong and they said “We didn’t think you had a brain before your stroke”

As for physical and occupational therapy I have to thank all of my therapists who worked with me. They were all supportive but and at the same time they didn’t take nonsense from me. I apply to this day the exercises I learned from them. They re-taught me the principles of walking, dressing, eating, climbing stairs, all activities of daily living. They are the unknown heroes of the medical world.

It is also important to keep your mind active as well. To that end,
• I joined a library book club
• I write for several stroke related publications
• I do crossword puzzles
• And I write stories about my life

And now partially due to the therapist’s efforts, my family, especially my patient and loving wife, and others, I have finally adjusted to my new life.

I was recently visited by two old friends. They were my colleagues before my stroke. We were discussing our lives, the normality in home life. Both friends were unsatisfied with their job lives, complaining how their work hadn't changed in years and has become unsatisfying. They were complaining about their normal lives and I could only think how fortunate they were to have such normal, complain-able lives.

But their visit made me think of what a normal life really is? After all, what is "Normal?"


Then I got to thinking about my previous "normal" life before the brain attack. For years, when I worked, I got up regularly at five o’clock in the morning to start my day and the day generally ended at seven at night when I sat down and watched TV. When I compared that life to my current one, I realized that in some ways, not much had really changed.

I mean, I still get up early every morning, out of bed by six AM and I spend my day writing, reading, sleeping, talking, biking, exercising, and eating and it’s all therapy... OK, maybe not the eating part, but at least I'm not being fed through a tube in stomach, like when I was to the hospital. And I still watch television at night. So overall, life is still good. Still normal as it was in many ways.

Sure, I regret the fact that I’m partially disabled, that I can’t do all the things that I used to, but I’ve adjusted to my “new normal life”.

Granted, I do have to concentrate on every word that I speak. Watch every step I take. Concentrate every movement that my body makes. In some respects, I had to make similar conscious efforts in my previous normal life. So, I’ve come accept that I have to do more of it in my new normal life.

Yes, I AM different now, but I’m still normal. It’s a just different kind of normal and I’m OK with that. My wife and children have accepted that fact because that’s who I am.I am as normal as I can be, a new kind of normal.

I am adapting to my “new normal life”. I’ve come to realize that after the stroke I wasted time regretting my “old normal life” and feeling sorry for myself. The grieving and letting go of my old life as I knew it, was necessary. With the help of dear friends and especially my loving and caring family, I finally realized it’s not a one time process. It’s a normal ongoing process that never ends. The same as it in everyone's normal life.

And as life has its way of challenging us over and over again, well.... Nine months after the stroke I had a seizure. It was late in the day, around five o’clock, and I lost control of my body. My wife called the ambulance and I was taken to the Emergency Room at Northwest Community Hospital. Again. By then the seizure had already begun to subside and I had my wits about me again.

The ER doctor came into and looked my admittance information, there was look of disbelieve shrouding his face.

"Haven't I treated you before," the doctor asked.

My wife said that he had.

He was the ER doctor that had been the first one to see me when I had the brain attack. He was the one who gave my wife no hope. 

I will not deny that I miss my old normal life, but I’m determined to live my “new normal life” to its fullest. You never can recover fully from brain attack, but you can adjust to life to a new normality that makes your life still worth living.

As a famous author once said; "The abundant life does not come to those who have had a lot of obstacles removed from their path by others. It develops from within and is rooted in strong mental and moral fiber."

That author gave us some some very good advice. Advice to truly live by.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Stroke Has 19 Definitions Part 1 of 2


www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/


United Stroke Alliance in partnership with Medtronic launched a new resource for Stroke Support Groups called The Booster Box. Included in the box is everything a leader needs to conduct a support group meeting for up to 24 attendees.

To receive your free Booster Box please call our office at 
309-688-5450 or email info@strokecamp.org to request yours. 

Subscriptions will be available for purchase and information will be inside your free box.  

Show Me The Booster Box
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This is a two part article written by our buddy Chuck Hofvander. Chuck is a stroke survivor and one of our campers. Part 2 will run next week.
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Stroke Has 19 Definitions Part 1 of 2
by Chuck Hofvander
Stroke has 19 definitions. It can mean a stroke of good luck, a rowing style, a caressing movement, etc and all mean something positive. Only one meaning has a negative meaning, sudden blockage or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain resulting in loss of consciousness, partial loss of movement, or loss of speech.
I prefer to use attack, to be more specific Brain Attack. Brain Attack is defined as: To harm using extreme, destructive, or uncontrollable force to the controlling center of the nervous system in humans. The brain is the center of thought and emotions, and bodily activities.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to me today, and you’ll really have to listen. I’m sure you’d rather be doing something else but hopefully something you hear today will help you, a relative or a friend someday. Here’s what I’ll attempt to cover:
·        Scare you and make you aware to the dangers of stroke
·        Tell you some facts about stroke
·        How stroke can affect you and others
·        How it affected me and others

Brain Attack/stroke is not a well understood, yet it is:

• the number one cause of disability in the US

Everybody should know the warning signs.

Some facts:
• Three million American’s are currently permanently disabled from stroke
• More than half a million people in the US have a stroke each year

A stroke does not discriminate when choosing its victims. A stroke will strike people of all ages, sex and race. No one is immune
In fact, on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers a stroke.

The medical cost to handle stroke victims in the United Sates alone, exceeds $30 billion. Yes. 30 billion dollars.

As is the case in most medical issues, the average public remains unaware, until it happens to them and by then, it is too late. Recognizing the symptoms and acting FAST, can save a life. And that life you save, could be your own.

A simple acronym for understanding the symptoms of a stroke is FAST. Convenient, since acting FAST is important to minimizing damage and saving lives.

(Red Italics added by the blog editor.)
We are now adding four more letters to the acronym you are used to seeing: B, E and ER: "BE FASTER".

• B=Balance - Sudden loss of balance
• E=Eyes - Sudden blurry or loss of vision.


• F= Face – Smile. Does one side of the face droop?
• A= Arm - Try to raise your arms. Does one drift downward?
• S= Speech - Are your words slurred? Can you repeat any 

                       sentence correctly?
• T= Time - If you have any of these symptoms call 911.
                   Time is of the essence.
• Emergency
• Room 


Get to the ER by ambulance, because the EMTs know what to do on the way, FASTER! (plus they can blow through red lights and get around traffic jams and be diagnosing you on the way so the proper team is waiting at the ER door.)


It’s important to act FAST because brain cells are dying by the minute. By acting FAST up to 80% of Brain Attacks can minimize the damage.

Stroke is not a good word to describe the devastating effects it has on one's life. A brain attack happens fast and sometimes without warning.

I had lived my life never really knowing a stroke was. Or how it affects people, especially the families of stroke victims. Boy was I in for a surprise.

I was 52 years old when I had my brain attack. It was on March 21, 2004. My wife was attending a bridal shower and my two sons were both working. All in all, I had been living a simple normal life.

I was home alone on that leisurely Sunday afternoon. In my basement, doing, of all things, my routine exercises. I began to feel a little light headed and decided to go upstairs. The symptoms suddenly began to worsen and I felt like I was going to pass out. The last thing I remember was going into the family room. I learned later, that there was where my wife found me when she returned home. The attack lasted maybe five minutes. Five little minutes. Two and half hours later, my wife found me in our family family, staring at death's gate.

I don't wish to brag, but, in many ways, I have been a very fortunate man. I mean, I've always been healthy and very happy in my personal life. I have wonderful home in the suburbs that I share with my lovely wife and together, we've made a home for two wonderful boys. I have also been fortunate in my professional life. Starting as a clerk, I worked my way up and succeeded in becoming a corporate executive. I've always eaten well, drank moderately, and I exercised regularly, four to five a week.
Who could have imagined that five minutes little minutes were to change 52 years of life.

When I was brought into the Emergency Room at the Northwest Community Hospital, the attending doctor gave my wife little, if any hope, for my survival. The neurosurgeon advised my family, that if she didn’t operate in the next 30 minutes, I would, in all likelihood, die!

Imagine your loved ones being told that surgery held no guarantees. That even if the surgeon operated, you might still end up in a coma for the rest of your life, or possibly, (pause), die on the table.

The priest in attendance was contacted, (pause), and he administered MY last rights.

Brad, my 20 year old son, was beside himself, lost in a daze of unimaginable disbelief. Mathew, my 17 year old, broke down in tears, falling to the floor, he begged God - “please don’t let Dad die”.

My wife, Liz, did the only thing she could do. She granted surgeon permission to operate, and pleaded with the doctor to do her best.
When they opened my skull, they found hemorrhaging - a blood vessel had bursts inside my brain. The blood had collected in one area, creating a swelling that amassed to the size of baseball. With limited room in the human skull, it pressed my brain against one side on skull.

After the surgery, I spent five days in a coma. For my family, it seemed that the doctor's predictions were right.

On my son Brian's 21st birthday, nine days after my brain attack, nine days after the uncertain surgery, nine days after I was given my last rights - I awoke.

Brain said it was the best birthday present he had ever received. I was gratefully touched when hearing that.

NOTE: From the blog moderator - If you found this article, Part 1,  interesting, Part 2 will be posted here next week.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

What is a stroke?


www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/


United Stroke Alliance in partnership with Medtronic launched a new resource for Stroke Support Groups called The Booster Box. Included in the box is everything a leader needs to conduct a support group meeting for up to 24 attendees.

To receive your free Booster Box please call our office at 
309-688-5450 or email info@strokecamp.org to request yours. 

Subscriptions will be available for purchase and information will be inside your free box.  

Show Me The Booster Box
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The following is from the Stroke Association web site:
http://www.strokeassociation.org

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What is a stroke?

 Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke)A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or "mini stroke", is caused by a temporary clot. 


View a detailed animation of ischemic stroke (opens in new window)Ischemic stroke accounts for about 
87 percent of all cases. View a detailed animation of ischemic stroke.
Ischemic strokes occur as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. The underlying condition for this type of obstruction is the development of fatty deposits lining the vessel walls. This condition is called atherosclerosis. These fatty deposits can cause two types of obstruction:
Cerebral thrombosis refers to a thrombus (blood clot) that develops at the clogged part of the vessel.

Cerebral embolism refers generally to a blood clot that forms at another location in the circulatory system, usually the heart and large arteries of the upper chest and neck. A portion of the blood clot breaks loose, enters the bloodstream and travels through the brain's blood vessels until it reaches vessels too small to let it pass. A second important cause of embolism is an irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation. It creates conditions where clots can form in the heart, dislodge and travel to the brain.

Silent cerebral infarction (SCI), or “silent stroke,” is a brain injury likely caused by a blood clot interrupting blood flow in the brain. It’s a risk factor for future strokes which could lead to progressive brain damage due to these strokes. Read more about silent strokes.



View a detailed animation of hemorrhagic stroke (opens in new window)
Hemorrhagic stroke accounts for about 13 percent of stroke cases. 

It results from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. The blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue. The two types of hemorrhagic strokes are intracerebral (within the brain) hemorrhage or subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. Two types of weakened blood vessels usually cause hemorrhagic stroke: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). View a detailed animation of hemorrhagic stroke.

An aneurysm is a ballooning of a weakened region of a blood vessel. If left untreated, the aneurysm continues to weaken until it ruptures and bleeds into the brain. Learn more about cerebral aneurysm.

An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a cluster of abnormally formed blood vessels. Any one of these vessels can rupture, also causing bleeding into the brain. Learn more about AVM.


Warning strokes are often followed by more severe strokes. About a third of the people who have a TIA go on to have a more severe stroke within a year.


TIA(Transient Ischemic Attack) is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. Since it doesn't cause permanent damage, it might seem like no big deal. But ignoring it is a big mistake. That's because a TIA may signal a full-blown stroke ahead. Call 911 and get diagnosed immediately. It could be the beginning of a full blown stroke.

TIAs are often labeled "mini-strokes," because they can be relatively benign in terms of immediate consequences. But the term "warning stroke" is more appropriate for these temporary episodes, because they can indicate the likelihood of a coming stroke.

Like most strokes, TIAs are caused by a clot or blockage in the brain. TIAs should be taken very seriously. If you suspect a TIA or stroke of kind, be sure to call 9-1-1. Know the warning signs. Warning strokes are often followed by more severe strokes. About a third of the people who have a TIA go on to have a more severe stroke within a year.

Blockage is short-term or temporary during a TIA or warning stroke. The clot may dissolve on it its own or get dislodged so that it stops causing the symptoms.

Why Getting Quick Stroke Treatment Is Important
Quick Stroke Treatment Can Save Lives

If you’re having a stroke, it’s critical that you get medical attention right away. Immediate treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death. Thanks to recent medical advances, stroke treatments and survival rates have improved greatly over the last decade.

Stroke Treatment: Alteplase IV r-tPA, the Gold Standard
A stroke occurs when a vessel in the brain is blocked by a blood clot or ruptures. A stroke caused by a clot is called an ischemic stroke; about 85 percent of all strokes in the United States are ischemic. The only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic strokes is Alteplase IV r-tPA also known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA,). Alteplase IV r-tPA works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow. If administered within three hours (and up to four-and-a-half hours in certain eligible patients), Alteplase IV r-tPA may improve the chances of recovering from a stroke.

A significant number of stroke victims don’t get to the hospital in time for Alteplase IV r-tPA treatment; this is why it’s so important to identify a stroke immediately.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Why More People Don't Call 911 When Stroke Symptoms Hit




www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/


United Stroke Alliance in partnership with Medtronic launched a new resource for Stroke Support Groups called The Booster Box. Included in the box is everything a leader needs to conduct a support group meeting for up to 24 attendees.

To receive your free Booster Box please call our office at 
309-688-5450 or email info@strokecamp.org to request yours. 

Subscriptions will be available for purchase and information will be inside your free box.  

Show Me The Booster Box
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I believe this message is so important that I will leave it active until February 24th to make sure everyone has a chance to see it. It reflects our new acronym of :
B.E. F.A.S.T.E.R.
B.  Balance - sudden loss of balance
E.  Eyes       - sudden blurry or 
                       loss of vision
F.  Face       - sudden numbness, 
                      one side drooping
                       can you smile
A.  Arms      - sudden weakness in arms
                       can you raise both arms
S.  Speech   - slurred or mumbling speech
T.  Time       - Call 911 Now!
E.  Emergency
R.  Room
Get to the ER by ambulance they know what to do FASTER!
Almost two million brain cells die every minute.
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Why more people don't call 911 when stroke symptoms hit

By American Heart Association News
Person on headset
(PhotoAlto/James Hardy, Getty Images)
When stroke symptoms hit, not everyone calls 911 – a decision that has perplexed experts. Now, a small study reveals some of the reasons.

The research, being presented next week at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Honolulu, included interviews with 38 stroke patients who drove themselves or had someone drive them to Baptist Health South Florida Hospitals rather than calling 911.

Lead researcher Maygret Ramirez said the most common reason, listed by nearly one-third of participants, was hospital preference and not knowing where an ambulance would take them. Other reasons patients provided were not realizing it was an emergency, having a family member who preferred to drive, or thinking they would get to the hospital faster if they drove rather than waiting for an ambulance.

"The fact that hospital preference is the number one reason for not calling 911 tells us we need to provide better education on this issue," said Ramirez, a nurse practitioner at Baptist Health Neuroscience Center in Miami. "People really need to understand that stroke can be a catastrophic event if not treated in time."

Patient concerns are not misguided. Guidelines recommend emergency medical teams take stroke patients to the nearest hospital that can deliver the clot-busting medicine alteplase. Ramirez said EMS teams are typically taught to refuse a patient's request to go to a different hospital.

Still, she said, that shouldn't dissuade people from calling 911. If a patient wants to go to a different hospital, "they could ask to be transferred (there) after the first assessment."

Fast action is essential in treating stroke, with early treatment leading to higher survival rates and lower disability rates. Yet previous studies have found more than one in three people who have a stroke don't call 911 and instead rely on self-transport to get to the hospital.

"We have to reinforce the idea that this is an emergency. We need more people to understand that when it comes to stroke, 'time is brain,'" Ramirez said, repeating a phrase coined in the 1990s to amplify the message that the longer you wait to treat a stroke, the higher your chance of brain damage.

Ramirez said she'd now like to see research that looks at the specific types of educational messages that will get people to call 911 during a stroke.

A stroke happens when blood vessels carrying oxygen to the brain are blocked or rupture, causing brain cells to die. In the U.S., stroke is the fifth most common cause of death. An estimated 140,000 people in the U.S. die of stroke each year. It's also a leading cause of disability.

Calling 911 for stroke is essential because it not only gets patients to the hospital faster but ensures patients are taken to a hospital that specializes in stroke treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Kevin Sheth, an associate professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Yale School of Medicine who was not involved in the new study, said he was surprised by the results.

"I'd have thought the main reason for not calling 911 would have more to do with misinterpretation of symptoms, not hospital preference," he said. "And that raises some questions: What do we do about this? Do we need to provide more options for patients? Do we need to educate patients?"

Sheth said he's curious about whether socioeconomic and other factors such as race impacted whether people called for an ambulance. The findings are also limited by the small number of participants who were all treated at one hospital network in South Florida.

"The question of 'Why don't we get patients to the hospital faster?' is the biggest challenge in acute stroke research, but it's a problem we have not made much of a dent on yet," Sheth said. "Ultimately, we need to get more people to call 911 and get to definitive (stroke) therapy faster."

If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org.
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American Heart Association News Stories
American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.

Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.

HEALTH CARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. If you are in the United States and experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or call for emergency medical help immediately.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Taking medicine for a cold?




www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/







United Stroke Alliance in partnership with Medtronic launched a new resource for Stroke Support Groups called The Booster Box. Included in the box is everything a leader needs to conduct a support group meeting for up to 24 attendees.

To receive your free Booster Box please call our office at 
309-688-5450 or email info@strokecamp.org to request yours. 

Subscriptions will be available for purchase and information will be inside your free box.  

Show Me The Booster Box
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Since we are deep into the flu and cold season, 

the following article will be of interest to stroke survivors 

as well as those with heart conditions.
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(duckycards, Getty Images)
By American Heart Association News

Taking medicine for a cold? 

Be mindful of your heart.

Flu has so far infected more than 6 million Americans this season, and winter colds are making their rounds. If you've been hit by either, you may be thinking about heading to your local pharmacy to relieve your aches, pains and congestion.

But before you do, you need to consider how some over-the-counter cold medicines may impact your heart.


"People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants," said Sondra DePalma, a physician assistant at the PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute at UPMC Pinnacle in Pennsylvania. "And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider."

DePalma co-authored guidelines released in 2017 by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology focusing on the management of high blood pressure in adults. Both decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), found in many cold medicines, were listed as medications that could increase blood pressure.

Decongestants – like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine – constrict blood vessels. They allow less fluid into your sinuses, "which dries you up," said Dr. Erin Michos, associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease in Baltimore.

"But if you have high blood pressure or heart disease, the last thing you need is constricting blood vessels," she said. "It can exacerbate or worsen the condition."

The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said.

But research on NSAIDs suggests seemingly healthy people might also be at risk.

A 2017 study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases looked at nearly 10,000 people with respiratory infections who were hospitalized for heart attacks. Participants were 72 years old on average at the time of their heart attacks and many had cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Researchers found that people who used NSAIDs while sick were more than three times as likely to have a heart attack within a week compared with the same time period about a year earlier when participants were neither sick nor taking an NSAID.

This may be due to the compound effect.

Merely having a cold or the flu strains the cardiovascular system. Fighting the illness raises the heart rate and causes inflammation. Meanwhile, NSAIDs – which carry a warning label about the increased risk for a heart attack or stroke – can cause problems by reducing the amount of sodium excreted through the urine, which increases fluid retention and raises blood pressure, DePalma said.

NSAIDs can be especially risky for people with heart disease or heart failure, Michos added. People who are sick should use both classes of medications – decongestants and NSAIDs – judiciously and understand the potential side effects.

For decongestants, blood pressure guidelines suggest using them for the shortest duration possible or using an alternative such as nasal saline or antihistamines to help with congestion. Decongestants shouldn't be taken longer than seven days before consulting with a health care provider, DePalma said.

NSAIDs taken as pills should be avoided when possible to avoid affecting blood pressure, guidelines advise. Rather, topical NSAIDs and acetaminophen are recommended alternatives.

"There are effective therapies that are less risky and definitely should be tried first," DePalma said. "If other over-the-counter medications are needed, use them cautiously. And if someone finds they are having problems like high blood pressure or other things like heart palpitations, they should talk with their health care provider."

If symptoms are mild or moderate, rest and drink plenty of fluids, Michos said. Preventing dehydration should help reduce body aches, clear mucous and may reduce the need for decongestants.

To help avoid getting sick in the first place, Michos recommends frequent hand-washing and lots of sleep, especially during cold and flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, and the pneumonia vaccine for children under 2 and adults 65 and older.

If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
American Heart Association News Stories

American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.

Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.

HEALTH CARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. If you are in the United States and experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or call for emergency medical help immediately.