Beating Stroke at Age 33

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience, Stroke Center | Posted on 27-05-2014

Tori-SewardTori Seward, 33, knows from experience that a stroke can happen to anyone at any age at any time. Last June, the hairdresser with the infectious smile suffered a vertebral artery dissection in her neck, which led to a brain bleed, which led to a stroke.

At Memorial Medical Center, she spent two weeks in the neurology nursing care unit before embarking on five-hour daily therapy treatments. The rehabilitation significantly improved her ability to return to a normal life. There, she learned how to use a wheelchair, then a walker and a cane. Today she walks without any aids.

While Tori’s stroke presented itself in a unique manner, there are specific things to look for in a potential stroke situation. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Women Need to Pay Attention to Stroke Risks

Posted by | Posted in Physician Services, Stroke Center | Posted on 15-05-2014

Women-Stroke-Infographic-ThumbnailWomen face some unique circumstances that can increase their risk for stroke, according to new prevention guidelines from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

One of those is preeclampsia, which is defined as high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women who previously had normal blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Women with preeclampsia have double the risk for a stroke later in life.

“A diagnosis of preeclampsia during pregnancy has significant health implications across a woman’s lifespan,” said Amanda O’Brien, MD, an OB-GYN with Memorial Physician Services-Women’s Healthcare. “It cannot be ignored.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Hows and Whys of Stroke Prevention

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Stroke Center | Posted on 06-05-2014

DS-6139 ASA Stroke Statistics_ExternalRevMay is National Stroke Awareness Month, and when it comes to the prevention of stroke and heart disease, we all know what we need to do. But we don’t always know why. And not knowing why or how important our lifestyle decisions are in staying healthy can lead us to not following through with the potentially life-saving adjustments we need to make.

We spoke to an expert with Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Center about the most common risk factors for strokes and just why we need to keep them under control. Read the rest of this entry »

Busting the Top Three Myths about Strokes

Posted by | Posted in Emergency Department, Neuroscience, Stroke Center | Posted on 21-01-2014

042-08-16Strokes are the fourth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious disability in the United States. Even so, the majority of people know very little about these debilitating events—and fewer realize they might just be at risk.

“Half of all Americans have at least one main symptom that can lead to stroke; they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or they smoke,” said Amanda Conn, a registered nurse and coordinator for the Stroke Center at Memorial Medical Center. “When you consider complexities like diabetes, heart disease or obesity, we’re literally walking time bombs.”

To help diffuse more than a few ticking bombs, Conn and other medical experts have busted the most common stroke myths—and these facts could save your life. Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Encourages You to Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.

Posted by | Posted in Stroke Center | Posted on 29-10-2013

MHNS-036 FAST 500x333

As part of World Stroke Day, Memorial Medical Center is encouraging its employees to learn the warning signs of a stroke and to teach others in the community a quick test to determine if someone may be experiencing a stroke.

“We want to encourage the people in our profession and the community to pay it forward by taking the time to learn a simple screening,” said Amanda Conn, a registered nurse who serves as Memorial’s stroke center program coordinator for neurosciences. “It only takes five minutes to learn and could save a lot of lives.”

World Stroke Day is Oct. 29. The test is called FAST, which is an acronym for Face, Arms, Speech, Time.

Here’s how the FAST screening works: If you suspect someone may be having a stroke, you should first check for facial weaknesses – anything that’s different from one side of the face to the other, such as an uneven smile. Read the rest of this entry »

Stroke Awareness. Know the Facts.

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience, Stroke Center | Posted on 24-05-2013


While May has become known as Stroke Awareness Month, the importance of stroke awareness doesn’t end when the month is over. A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood into the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Strokes can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, not just adults over the age of 65. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than the age of 65.

This Stroke Awareness Infographic provides some important stroke facts. For more information on stroke facts and treatmenttvisit Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Center. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Memorial Was There to Save My Life’

Posted by | Posted in Emergency, Emergency Department, Neuroscience, Stroke Center, Videos | Posted on 21-05-2013

139-13- 05At age 26, Darah Nelson is far younger than the average stroke patient. Yet on Oct. 18, 2012, she found herself in her office, the door closed, and unable to move or speak. A family friend, who had once experienced a stroke, happened to stop by, opened her door and quickly recognized the signs of a stroke.

Darah arrived via ambulance to Memorial Medical Center, where the Emergency Department team launched its Star 45 program, the 45-minute diagnostic timeline that determines whether patients, like Darah, are candidates for stroke treatment.  

The video below chronicles her story. Read the rest of this entry »

From our Memorial Dietitians: Sodium and Stroke Risk

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Stroke Center | Posted on 12-03-2013

salt and blood pressure cuffHow would you like to decrease your risk of stroke more than twofold?

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming only 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day, yet the average American consumes more than 4,000 mg of sodium per day. That is nearly 2 teaspoons of salt. 

Researchers who published a study in the journal Stroke in April followed more than 2,600 participants over a 10-year period reviewing their health, including any hospitalizations, medication changes or changes in stroke risk factors, such as smoking. Only 12 percent of the participants were meeting the AHA recommendation of less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Heart Month: Follow These 7 Habits to Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Heart, Physician Services, Stroke Center | Posted on 04-02-2013

“Heart disease takes the lives of far too many people in this country, depriving their families and communities of someone they love and care for—a father, a mother, a wife, a friend, a neighbor, a spouse. With more than 2 million heart attacks and strokes a year, and 800,000 deaths, just about all of us have been touched by someone who has had heart disease, heart attack, or a stroke.”
- Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular or heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, which equals 2,200 deaths per day. Read the rest of this entry »

MMC Offers New Minimally Invasive Procedure to Treat Large Aneurysms

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience, Stroke Center | Posted on 22-01-2013

 The first pipeline stent procedure, which offers an alternative to open brain surgery for patients with large aneurysms, in the region was performed in December at Memorial Medical Center.

Augusto Elias, DDS, MD, a neurointerventional radiologist with Clinical Radiologists, S.C., who leads the neurointerventional team in Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Center, performed the minimally invasive procedure, known as a pipeline stent. Dr. Elias is one of only 10 physicians in Illinois who is trained to perform this procedure. Read the rest of this entry »