Stroke is a life-threatening medical event that occurs when the brain’s blood supply is interrupted. Without the oxygen and nutrients supplied by adequate blood flow, brain cells suffer damage and death within 10 minutes of the event. A victim of stroke experiences sudden loss of function and cognitive difficulties.
There are two main types of these ‘brain attacks’: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke .
- An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or local plaque buildup obstructs blood flow to a region of the brain. A clot can break off from another part of the brain or from anywhere else in the body and travel in the bloodstream to cause the obstruction. A clot can also form in an artery that is already very narrow. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances can form plaques that collect on the artery walls, which also can be the cause of a blockage.
- A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing blood to leak (hemorrhage) into the brain. The bleeding puts pressure on the brain and prevents cells from getting their normal blood supply.
Stroke symptoms typically develop suddenly and require immediate medical attention to minimize damage to the brain tissue. To minimize your risk for developing a stroke, consider speaking with your physician if you have any of the following risk factors:
- High blood pressure
- High homocysteine levels in the blood
- High cholesterol levels
- Cocaine, heroin, or amphetamine abuse
- Use of birth control pills if over the age of 35
- Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy
- Diabetes mellitus
- Atrial fibrillation
If you or a loved one experiences the symptoms of stroke, consider calling 911 and seeking medical assistance immediately. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, our Primary Stroke Center is certified by the Joint Commission as a facility with the highest quality in stroke care. Don’t become a statistic—call us today at (702) 880-2100 to learn more stroke treatment and prevention.
Dementia is the term used to describe a group of symptoms involving cognition. To be diagnosed with dementia, a patient must have a disturbance in memory and a decline in one or more cognitive domain that includes language, praxis, executive function, or visuospatial function. Those suffering from dementia tend to have increasing trouble remembering things, such as how to do simple math, how to pay bills, and how to get to familiar locations. They may also have difficulty concentrating on tasks and experience personality changes. Dementia is usually a degenerative condition and cannot be prevented or reversed.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease . Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition that slowly destroys brain cells, destroying a person’s ability to learn, remember, and function normally. The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not yet known, but studies suggest that plaques and neurofibrillary tangles within the nerve cells are involved in the condition’s development. These factors begin by compromising the function of the hippocampus (memory center) and slowly moving throughout the brain.
While the cause of the disease remains unknown, some factors may increase your chances of developing the Alzheimer’s. These risk factors include:
- Being 65 years old or older
- Family history of Alzheimer’s
- Down’s syndrome, or Down’s in a first-degree relative
- Lower educational achievement
- Previous serious, traumatic brain injury
- Women under 35 who give birth to a child with Down’s syndrome
- Elevated levels of homocysteine
- Heart disease
The roles of certain factors such as poor nutrition in childhood, excess metal in the blood, certain viral infections, diabetes, and high cholesterol in the development of Alzheimer’s disease are currently being evaluated.
Alzheimer’s disease begins with mild memory lapses before it progresses to a more profound loss of memory and function. The symptoms of the disease correlate with other types of dementia. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s or any known way to slow its progression. If you would like to learn more about this disease or how to support a loved one with this diagnosis, please contact Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (702) 880-2100.
UPDATE: The voting period for this story has ended. Link is no longer valid.
We are excited that the Review-Journal newspaper is asking the community to vote on the Best Hospital in the Las Vegas area. We think Southern Hills Hospital should win the designation as Best Hospital and we want you to cast your vote in the readers’ poll. The Best Hospital category will appear in the “Locations” section of the newspaper’s ballot. Voting for the Best Hospital will begin on Sunday, Jan. 22 and continue through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30.
You can vote two ways: Fill out the “Best of Las Vegas” form in the Review-Journal’s special section on Sunday, Jan. 22; and/or, beginning that same day, cast your vote online at:
Thanks for your vote and tell your friends and family to vote too.
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a serious medical condition in which a blood clot (thrombus) forms in a vein deep in the arm or leg. This clot can break loose of its vein and be carried through the bloodstream, eventually reaching the lungs and blocking blood flow. This condition, called pulmonary embolism, can lead to severe damage to the lungs and even cause death.
Clots form when deposits of red blood cells and various clotting elements build up in a vein. Factors that can contribute to clot formation include:
- Slow blood flow, often due to sitting still or lying down for an extended period of time
- Injury to a blood vessel
- Clotting problems due to aging or disease
- Pooling of blood in a vein due to immobility or various medical conditions
- Catheters placed in a vein
A clot deep in the leg typically produces swelling, redness, warmth, inflammation, and pain below the site of the blockage in the leg. Some patients, however, may not experience any symptoms until the clot moves to their lungs and results in a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Some people are more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis because they possess one or more of the established risk factors . The risk factors for DVT typically include:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Surgery, especially involving bones or joints
- Family or personal history of DVT
- The presence of certain genetic factors
- Medical conditions such as cancer, varicose veins, heart attack or failure, blood disorders, blood poisoning, or inflammatory bowel disease
To help prevent DVT, be sure to get up and move! If you are planning a long drive or flight, move around every once in a while to keep from remaining stationary for too long. If you are going to be staying in a hospital for a long period of time, ask your physician about preventing clots during your stay.
Every 69 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease . Alzheimer’s is a slow, fatal disease of the brain that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed in its progression. Starting in the hippocampus, the disease slowly makes its way to the other parts of the brain, causing irreversible dementia. Raise your awareness about the facts and figures associated with the Alzheimer’s epidemic by taking the time to watch this video.
If you have a loved one afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, let Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center help. Our compassionate and experienced staff is committed to providing the highest quality care to the communities of southwest Las Vegas. Please contact us at (702) 880-2100 to learn more about our comprehensive services.
Wednesday, Jan. 18
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Education Room/First Floor
Increase your fitness level and learn the benefits of Tai Chi. Sponsored by CareMore. Call 702.880.2700 to register. Light refreshments will be provided. FREE
How can you stay safe in your home as you age? Can you benefit from water immersion birth? If you’re interested in more information on brainstem strokes, the causes of scoliosis, or any of our other recent blog topics, then check out these resources:
- Studies show that someone dies from a stroke every six seconds in the United States. Learn more with this article from the National Stroke Association.
- Make sure you can recognize the signs of a stroke with this overview from StrokeAssociation.org.
- Learn about the different types of strokes by checking out this link from StrokeCenter.org .
- Did you know that 1.6 million older adults visit the emergency room for fall-related injuries each year? Visit this link from the National Institute on Aging for more information.
- This article from AARP.org discusses installing grab bars in bathrooms to help prevent the risk of injury for older adults.
- What is water immersion birth ? Find out with this link from the American Pregnancy Association.
- Check out this article from Babies.SutterHealth.org for more information on the different stages of labor .
- Are you suffering from scoliosis? Learn more about this spinal condition by exploring this link from the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons .
- This article from the Scoliosis Research Society discusses the symptoms and treatment options for individuals with scoliosis.
- Did you know that scoliosis may be a symptom of spina bifida? Learn more by exploring this link from the Spina Bifida Association.
For more information on our services, give Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center a call at (702) 880-2100 today!
Thursday, Jan. 12
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Education Room/First Floor
Stretch off those holiday calories and join us for a yoga session. Sponsored by CareMore. Call 702.880.2700 to register. Light refreshments will be provided. FREE
According to the National Stroke Association, someone suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States. While all strokes occur due to a lack of blood supply to the brain, there are different types of strokes that affect different areas of the brain—one of which is a brainstem stroke.
The brainstem is responsible for controlling involuntary functions and contains the nerves that control eye movement, talking, hearing, chewing, and swallowing. A brainstem stroke occurs when the supply of blood is interrupted— ultimately damaging the brainstem so that it can no longer control vital body functions.
A brainstem stroke is characterized as ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic brainstem strokes are caused by a sudden decrease of blood flow due to clot formation in one of the arteries, a clot in another part of the body that breaks off and blocks blood flow, or a tear in one of the blood vessels that supplies blood to the brainstem. A hemorrhagic brainstem stroke is caused by a burst blood vessel that results in bleeding in the brain.
There are several factors that may increase your risk for a brainstem stroke, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, type II diabetes, smoking, alcohol or drug use, and diets high in sodium or processed foods. A history of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular disease may also increase the risk.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of a brainstem stroke may include:
- Problems with vital functions
- Weakness or paralysis in the extremities or face
- Problems with sensation
- Difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing
- Hearing or vision problems
An urgent care facility or stroke care specialist may diagnosis a stroke using a number of methods, including an examination of the nervous system, CT scans, MRIs and MRAs, heart function tests, Doppler ultrasounds, and examinations of kidney and/or liver function.
If you experiencing symptoms of a stroke and are considering seeking medical care, let our physicians and nurses with Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provide you with the urgent care you need by contacting us at (702) 880-2100.