News Release Center

5/3/2016 12:00:00 AM CENTRAL
Updated: 5/3/2016 11:24:40 AM CENTRAL
For more information, contact Cora Gremaud.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. According to the American Heart Association, stroke is a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States. In order to help the community understand the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) will be at the Perry County Senior Center on Monday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 25.  They will be sharing the signs of stroke and discussing what to do in case of a stroke.  They will be sponsoring BINGO following their presentations.  Educational materials will be distributed through the hospital’s Admitting Office throughout the month of May.  The Cardiopulmonary Rehab Department is also hosting a Cholesterol Screening and Blood Pressure Check on Friday, May 6 from 8-10am.


“Time is critical in the treatment of stroke, as on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and roughly every four minutes someone dies from a stroke,” said Melissa Hayden, Emergency Department Nurse Manager. “The earlier a stroke is recognized and the patient receives medical attention, the greater chance of recovery.


Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.

PCMH is a Level III Stroke Center.  “Level III facilities have been surveyed by the state and have demonstrated the ability to move a patient presenting with stroke symptoms through a specialized process of immediate diagnosis, neurologist consultation and treatment,” explains Patrick Carron, PCMH President/CEO.  This expert process is critical to stop the stroke process and begin the restoration of circulation to the affected area of the brain using medications.  Further assessment occurs with a consulting neurologist to then determine the appropriate setting for ongoing care, whether that is a large hospital that can advance the care further, or set the course for an acute hospitalization for monitoring and rehabilitation. 

Level III centers play an important role in providing access into the system and important patient care in non-metropolitan areas.  Your closest stroke designated hospital is where a patient with symptoms needs to be to begin the halting of injury, and healing process. Missouri’s designated centers are integrated into a large, specialized system with providers coordinating care using processes proven to save lives and function. This evidence-based process is proven to increase the positive outcomes for patients suffering from stroke. 

“If you suspect a stroke, remember the word FAST – F-A-S-T,” said Hayden.  “F is for face - is your face drooping? A is for arms – can you lift both arms? S is for speech – are you slurring your words and T is for time, call 9-1-1 immediately because with stroke, time is brain.

The primary stroke symptoms include:

    Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping

    Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the 

    Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech

    Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

    Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

    Sudden severe headache with no known cause



About Stroke


Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States.

According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, and 87 percent of these are ischemic strokes. An acute ischemic stroke occurs when an obstruction, such as a blood clot, blocks blood flow to the brain. The obstruction deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, destroying valuable nerve cells in the affected area within minutes. The resulting damage can lead to significant disability including paralysis, speech problems and emotional difficulties.


Treatment may be available if you get to the emergency room immediately upon recognition of stroke symptoms. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including lowering risk factors like high blood pressure and weight, can also help reduce your stroke risk.


For more information about stroke, visit