Stroke screening at Great Plains Health

North Platte, Neb. (KNOP) - A stroke screening ran from 8-noon, Saturday at Great Plains Health in North Platte. It was well attended. Blood pressure tests, blood work, and other stroke screening tests were given, mostly free to visitors.

Every second counts when it comes to having a stroke. And knowing the signs to look for and understanding your risk is important.
While there are factors which make the possibility of having a stroke something we cannot control such as age, heredity, race and gender; there are many things we can do to reduce our risk.

Genn Neighbrs of North Platte said, "No smoking cigarettes."

Smoking is just one factor which adds to stroke risk. Diabetes, artery disease, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity can lead to stroke as well.

Mr. Neighbrs says he was just 35 yesterday, and now he is 71. He says taking care of his body is important.

"I go to the Rec Center. I work out: cardio an hour a day for four days a week. Do the bike at the Rec Center once in a while, run a little bit...walk. weights once in a while, but not a bike weight guy."

But there are other indicators of stroke that are out of our control Being over 55 is a risk factor, along with family history of stroke, race, gender, and prior stroke occurrence.

And so knowing the signs of stroke could save your life or your quality of life.

Dr. Anil Kumar is a neurologist and the Stroke Director at Great Plains Health. He says, "People would have a stroke symptom and they would wait, and sometimes they would drink cold water and they think 'I have double vision and it's just stress,' and they come next day and double vision is not going away, and we were not able to give them a clot buster medication to care for the stroke. So we started doing a lot of education in our community. These are the signs and symptoms of the stroke."

So, education is key, and time is everything.

Chastity Orr Stroke and Telemedicine Coordinator at Great Plains Health said, "80 percent of strokes are preventable, and most of them have to do with uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, things that we can treat with medication, diet or a healthy lifestyle

"What we do in the stroke screening is we ask people in our community to come here, get the blood pressure checks, get the lipid profile checks, and we also do the EKG's to check of atrial fibrillation, another cause of stroke," said Dr. Kumar.

Remember the acronym for recognizing a stroke:
BE FAST
B - Balance difficulties
E - Eyesight changes
F - Face drooping
A - Arm weakness
S - Speech difficulty
T - Time to call 9-1-1