Skip to main content

Stroke Center

When symptoms of a stroke are present you can have peace of mind knowing you and your loved ones have access to a Level II Designated Stroke Center. Our teams of emergency department physicians, neurologists, nurses and technicians have been expertly trained to give stroke patients the care they need, when they need it.

In 2015 Capital Region Medical Center was the first hospital in Jefferson City to be designated as as stroke center by the Department of Health and Senior Services and that designation advanced to level II in 2018.

Symptoms of a Stroke - Act F.A.S.T.

As the control center for every system, organ and tissue in your body, your brain is perhaps the most vital of all vital organs. And a stroke, or brain attack, is one of the most dangerous things that can ever happen to it.

Stroke symptoms happen suddenly. To help people recognize them and act quickly, the American Stroke Association (ASA) encourages everyone to learn the acronym F.A.S.T. It stands for:

Face drooping or numbness. Does one side of the face droop? Ask the person to smile.
Arm weakness or numbness. Have the person raise both arms. Does one drift downward?
Speech difficulty. A person having a stroke may have slurred speech or be unable to speak.
Time to call 911. If you notice any stroke symptoms in yourself or someone else, call 911 right away.

According to the ASA, it's also important to know the following symptoms, which also come on suddenly:

  • Numbness or weakness in a leg.
  • Confusion or trouble understanding speech.
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Severe headache with no obvious cause.

The types of stroke

Different types of strokes have different causes and treatments. But all are medical emergencies that require immediate treatment.

This is what all strokes have in common: Each one is a medical emergency that disrupts blood flow to the brain. And brain cells deprived of oxygen and nutrients begin to die.

But how that blood flow is disrupted can vary, which is why doctors divide strokes into different types. If you or someone you care about should ever have a stroke, it's important to know what type it is. So here's a look at each one.

Ischemic stroke—the most common kind

About 87 percent of all strokes fall into this category, according to the American Stroke Association (ASA). Ischemic strokes happen when an artery that feeds the brain becomes blocked, cutting off blood flow and damaging brain tissue.

Treatment for an ischemic stroke includes a clot-busting drug called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator). It can help people recover with little or no disability. But it must be given within 4.5 hours after symptoms start, according to the ASA—and if it's given to anyone having what's known as a hemorrhagic stroke, it can actually be dangerous.

Hemorrhagic stroke

This type of stroke happens when a weakened artery in the brain bursts and blood seeps into the surrounding tissue. This both disrupts blood supply to the brain and upsets the delicate chemical balance brain cells need to function.

Since hemorrhagic strokes are especially likely to be life-threatening, immediate treatment is essential. Treatment will focus on stopping the bleeding and easing any pressure that has built up inside the head.

Trouble ahead—transient ischemic attack

Sometimes stroke symptoms start only to go away quickly, often in less than five minutes, according to the ASA. This is what doctors call a transient ischemic attack (TIA) and the rest of us often call a warning stroke.

That's because roughly a third of all people who have a TIA go on to have a stroke within a year, according to the ASA. This means a TIA always needs medical attention so doctors can detect and treat whatever caused it, thereby preventing a full-blown stroke.