Stroke Education Expo set for May 20

VERO BEACH – The Indian River Medical Center will present a Stroke Education Expo featuring local stroke experts, various free screenings and information booths.  The expo, in recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month, starts at 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, at the Emerson Center at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach, 1590 27th Ave., (corner of 27th Avenue and 16th Street).  

The morning begins with a free continental breakfast and a chance to visit the booths. These will feature stroke-related topics including the IRMC Stroke Team, Cardiac Rehab, Critical Care Unit, Rehabilitation Therapy Center, Vero Neurology, Indian River County/Indian River Shores Fire Rescue, Florida Heart CPR, Stroke of Hope Club and information on the drug tPA.

Dr. S. James Shafer, medical director, IRMC Stroke Team, will speak at 9:30 a.m. followed by guest speakers Susan Blackburn, R.N., Stroke Program coordinator; Colleen King, M.A., CCC/SLP; IRMC Therapy Program manager; and Alta and Chuck Benjamin, Stroke of Hope Club founders.

Features include free blood pressure screenings, glucose finger stick blood tests, medication wallet cards and heart-healthy recipes.

The event is free and open to the public.

Those interested in attending should RSVP at 772-563-4627.

The Joint Commission certified IRMC as a Primary Stroke Center and bestowed its Gold Seal of Approval™ to IRMC’s stroke program in November 2007. It was received re-certification each year since.

It is important that everyone know the signs of stroke. Patients must be seen within three hours of the onset of a stroke to be considered for treatment with tPA, a clot-busting drug that can lessen the effects of stroke. If you observe someone with these symptoms, please seek immediate medical care:

Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

Sudden dizziness, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden, severe headaches with no known cause

If the patient is in the Emergency Department, the ED physician will evaluate him or her to determine if he or she is candidate for tPA. If the patient is in-house, the Rapid Response Team will respond to evaluate the patient.

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