Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and is one of the primary causes of disability among adults, according to the CDC. Each year, an estimated 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke, with about 610,000 of these being first or new strokes.

The good news is that strokes are preventable. May is National Stroke Awareness Month, a time set aside to stress the importance of being educated about the risk that stroke poses to both the country and our region.

Kentucky lies in the “Stroke Belt”, an 11-state region in the southeastern U.S. with a high stroke mortality rate, so it is vital to have advanced stroke care and a dedicated team of neurologists and stroke specialists in our region to provide high quality care.

The Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Primary Stroke Center is one of the leading stroke treatment centers in Kentucky. This highly trained and skilled team is dedicated to providing quality care with cutting-edge technology in order to quickly assess and treat a stroke.

When someone suffers a stroke, it is crucial to recognize the early warning signs and act fast. Strokes sometimes develop gradually, but more often, someone who is having a stroke will have one or more sudden warning signs. These include numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side.  Often, strokes cause confusion or trouble understanding other people, trouble speaking and difficulty seeing with one or both eyes.

The ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke can mean the difference between life and death.

To provide patients with high-quality care, PMC works closely with emergency medical service providers across the region to ensure that stroke care starts from the moment of patient contact.

The PMC Emergency Department is specially trained to quickly identify early stroke symptoms and equipped to provide intervention. PMC has taken extra steps to assemble a stroke team which has been trained to respond to stroke emergencies and provide expert neurological care.