What You Need to Know About Strokes

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Smoking, obesity, poor diet, high blood pressure, and lack of physical activity—these are things doctors say can put you at risk for a stroke. “One of the most important things that a person can do to prevent a stroke is being proactive in taking control of your health,” said Dr. Bryant Vuong, a physiatrist with Lee Health.

Face, Arms, Speech, and Time—FAST is the acronym health experts use to quickly recognize and respond to a stroke. “Symptoms of a stroke can include speech changes, facial asymmetry, facial droop, inability to walk, inability to use arms or legs and it’s generally going to affect one side of your body,” he said.

If a patient suffers a stroke, inpatient rehabilitation can help them regain mobility and strength. “In the inpatient setting, we focus on what the deficits are. We supervise the patient while they are undergoing recovery. We’re helping them become more mobile,” said Dr. Vuong.

While in the hospital, patients work with an interdisciplinary team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, and care managers. “We assess a person’s ability to understand, their level of function which can meet walking, transferring, taking care of yourself, self-feeding, hygiene care, dressing, or communication skills,” he said.

Patients normally stay in the hospital for 13 days after a stroke—during that time they will do three hours of therapy a day. The goal is to help patients return home as independent and functional as possible.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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