HCA Midwest Health - December 02, 2017

It’s not only possible for younger people to have strokes it is increasingly more common. One reason is that the most common risk factors for stroke are also showing up at younger ages: High blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

In recent years, hospitalizations for stroke have dropped overall, but are rising among younger patients (ages 25 to 44).

There are two types of strokes: Ischemic stroke and Hemorrhagic stroke.  Ischemic stroke is the more common of the two. It is caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain, usually from a blocked or narrowed artery. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery ruptures, leading to bleeding in the brain.

No matter their age, the biggest hurdle someone having a stroke faces is time. Every minute a stroke goes untreated about two million brain cells die, increasing the risk of disability or death.

Because time is so critical, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and get help quickly. To remember how to spot a stroke, think “FAST.”

Face drooping – A person’s smile may be uneven or one side of the face may appear to be drooping.

Arm weakness – One arm may feel numb, weak or unusually rigid. If a person puts both arms up, one may drift down.

Speech difficulty -- Trouble speaking, slurring of words or being unable to repeat a simple sentence like “the grass is green.”

Time to call 9-1-1 -- If someone shows any of these symptoms call 9-1-1 to ensure help is on the way. Even if symptoms seem to go away, you should still call 9-1-1.

If you do suspect a stroke, call 9-1-1. Don’t drive yourself (or ask someone else to drive you) to the nearest emergency room. It may seem like a time-saver to go yourself, but patients get the right care faster by calling 9-1-1. Remember that a stroke is a deadly race against the clock, so don’t hesitate.

HCA Midwest Health has one Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) and four Primary Stroke Care Centers (PSC) throughout the region, offering fast and effective care designed for the best possible outcomes as certified by the Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. In addition, the state of Missouri has developed a system to classify hospitals based on care and capacity requirements for conditions that require a Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD). TCD designations range from 1 to 4 with level 1 having the best ability to treat the most complex patient needs.

Research Medical Center

Missouri TCD Level 1 & CSC

Centerpoint Medical Center

Missouri TCD Level 2 & PSC

Lee's Summit Medical Center

Missouri TCD Level 2 & PSC

Lafayette Regional Health Center

Missouri TCD Level 3

Belton Regional Medical Center

Missouri TCD Level 3

Menorah Medical Center


Overland Park Regional Medical Center


This is a very brief overview of the dangers a stroke can have and some of the symptoms to look out for. If you believe that you or a loved one is having a stroke, immediately seek emergency care. It’s better to play it safe than to take any chances with a stroke. Remember that stroke is a very serious medical condition that can happen at any age and even to the healthiest of people.

If you have concerns about your stroke risk or any health issue, our nurse call line can help. Call 1-800-386-9355 for information or to find a doctor near you.

tags: stroke care , t4b