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Oct. 29 is World Stroke Day

October 29, 2016 by Beth Anne Atkins

GREENVILLE, NC— Oct. 29 is World Stroke Day. The stroke team at Vidant Medical Center strives to provide quality and efficient stroke care throughout eastern North Carolina. In the 29 counties that Vidant Health serves, stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.

North Carolina has one of the highest stroke death rates in the nation, which is two times the national average. Every 20 minutes, someone from North Carolina is hospitalized with a stroke and every two hours someone dies from a stroke.

The VMC stroke center works with stroke patients and their families on a daily basis providing support and education and implementing processes that will reduce the occurrence and impact of stroke in the region. The team also serves as a resource to community hospitals in eastern North Carolina to enhance their care delivery model for stroke patients.

“When you couple the effective acute therapies with effective rehabilitation, you decrease the devastating consequences of stroke. Whatever we can do here in the hospital to diminish the risk of disability, that’s what we are trying to do,” said Dr. Donald Price, medical director, Vidant Medical Center stroke team, and clinical associate professor of neurology at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. “We are trying every day, every week, every month and every year to improve our interventions and improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

Stroke care for eastern North Carolinians recently received a boost with the addition of Dr. Richard Dalyai, a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon, at Vidant Neurosurgery in Greenville. His expertise is allowing VMC to provide around-the-clock, endovascular care for acute stroke patients. Dalyai has been visiting emergency departments in the region discussing the latest protocols for acute stroke care.

Dalyai has a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed a neurosurgery residency and clinical fellowship in endovascular and cerebrovascular neurosurgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He treats all vascular neurosurgical disorders and specializes in the treatment of cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and dural arteriovenous fistulas.

“The purpose of the stroke center is to educate the public and health care professionals about stroke prevention, diagnosis and the availability of acute stroke treatment. We focus on streamlining stroke care throughout eastern North Carolina to ensure our friends and family have access to quality stroke care throughout the region,” said Ashley Elks, stroke center manager at VMC. “Our team works diligently to improve the delivery and coordination of acute stroke care throughout the region.”

FAST is an easy way to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke. Recognition of a stroke and calling 9-1-1 will determine how quickly someone will receive help and treatment.

F: FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A: ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S: SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T: TIME – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

The stroke support group at VMC provides support and education for stroke survivors and their families. This group meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Rehabilitation Center classroom. Call 252-847-2152 for more information about this group.

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