More stroke survivors getting advanced treatment

OC Register

More Orange County stroke victims are receiving advanced treatment and cutting their resulting disabilities in half, thanks to an innovative network of specially designated stroke receiving centers, the county’s medical services director reported.

Strokes are the third largest cause of death in the U.S., and an average of 6,800 strokes happen in Orange County every year, Dr. Samuel Stratton told the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Recent medical advancements in stroke treatments have been successful in treating and often reversing the effects of a stroke if the patient is treated within five hours of suffering a stroke, he said. Just a little over a year old, the county's Stroke-Neurology system is making that treatment happen more often.

A stroke is the sudden interruption to the blood supply for the brain. Ischemic strokes – which account for nearly 80 percent of all strokes – are caused by a blood clot that blocks blood flow to a part of the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused when a blood vessel ruptures, leading to bleeding in the brain.

With many county residents suffering, the Orange County Health Care Agency got together with several community groups to hammer out the Orange County Stroke-Neurology System. The idea, first broached in 2006, was unveiled in April 2009 as the nation’s first countywide comprehensive stroke system.

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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.