Stroke Symptoms and the Risk of Delaying Care

CHI St Vincent Arkansas Neuroscience Institute sign
This should come as a sobering reality check. The mortality rate for stroke in Arkansas sits among the worst in the nation. There’s no reason it has to be that way though. As a community, we have the resources, facilities, technology and knowledge to save lives. The real challenge comes when patients don’t recognize stroke symptoms or delay critical care after suffering a stroke.

“I often describe stroke as a brain attack. A clot or bleeding blood vessel in the brain triggers the stroke and begins to starve the brain of oxygen,” said CHI St. Vincent Arkansas Neuroscience Institute (ANI) Executive Director Dr. Ali Krisht. “Without that oxygen brain cells will begin to die within minutes and once they die, they cannot be replaced. When it comes to treatment and brain health following a stroke, we have to begin by understanding that time = brain.”

Recognizing the Signs and Stroke Symptoms

As time passes, even the most advanced technology and talented neurosurgeon become less effective in caring for stroke patients. To ensure the best possible outcomes, patients require care within three hours of the first signs of a stroke. That’s why it’s important for both patients and their families to recognize those signs and stroke symptoms.

Stroke symptoms often occur suddenly and may include:

–Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
–Confusion and trouble speaking or understanding.
–Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
–Difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of balance.
–A severe and sudden onset headache, sometimes described as a “clap of thunder.”

Anyone suffering a stroke should call 9-1-1 or get to an emergency room as soon as possible. ANI at CHI St. Vincent North have a specialized team on alert 24/7 to quickly initiate proper care for patients brought to them from across the state and region because they know every minute matters, not just in terms of saving lives but also to prevent common functional deficits often associated with stroke.

Advancements in Stroke Treatments

Surgeons at ANI continually work to improve stroke treatment options or even pioneer new advancements. In some cases, they can even conduct bypass surgery on a blood vessel in the brain to direct blood to a region impacted by a stroke, much in the same manner a cardiac surgeon would conduct a bypass surgery on the heart.
Dr Ali Krisht at Arkansas Neuroscience Institute
“We never settle for good enough,” said Dr. Krisht. “At the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute, we constantly work to improve procedures and outcomes for our patients. We make progress in the field of neurosurgery every day and each new success inspires us to never give up on anyone. That’s why patients with neurological conditions thought inoperable by others come to us from around the world to find compassionate care and healing.”

Advanced training and improvements in micro-neurosurgery have also opened up whole new areas of the brain for treatment making surgeries once considered impossible a regular occurrence at ANI. These advancements not only save lives, but they also give patients hope, longevity and a good quality of life unthinkable just a decade ago.

To learn more about advancements in stroke treatment and other work taking place at the CHI St. Vincent Arkansas Neuroscience Institute, visit: