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Free stroke screenings offered May 18 by Baptist Health as part of 100 Days of Service

Times-Tribune - 5/17/2024

May 16—CORBIN — With high blood pressure the top risk factor for stroke, keeping watch on your numbers is vital to preventing a "brain attack." Baptist Health Corbin is offering free blood pressure checks and other stroke-related screenings on May 18 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Parkway Ministries Church as part of its centennial celebration's 100 Days of Service. The public is invited to attend this event.

May is Stroke Awareness Month, when the focus is on prevention, and awareness of the signs and symptoms.

Minutes matter during stroke evaluation. Receiving care immediately can be the difference between temporary weakness and disability, or even death.

"Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States and reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors who are 65 years of age and older," said Teresa Cobb, Executive Director. "Stroke risk should be taken seriously, especially for underserved and vulnerable persons who may be twice as likely to have a stroke and also a poor recovery."

Kentucky has a higher death rate for stroke than the national average and has the 14th highest rate in the nation.

Stroke is the sixth leading cause of death in Kentucky — the fourth leading cause in Indiana. Indiana has the 17th highest rate in the nation.

Tackling cardiovascular disease — a major contributor to stroke risk — is a top need identified by Baptist Health Corbin in its community health needs assessment.

"Baptist Health has a robust program for stroke treatment, including telehealth to bring the expertise of doctors with advanced training in treating strokes to patients in our more rural hospitals," said James Winkley, MD, a neurologist with Baptist Health Medical Group in Lexington who leads the health system's service line.

"This advanced neurological care provides fast intervention and helps overcome traditional barriers, such as distance and time, which can be major factors in rural or remote areas."

Using digital technology, stroke experts work with the patient's local Emergency Department physicians to recommend diagnosis and treatment.

The Baptist Health telestroke program, which is 24/7 and 365 days a year, operates on a hub-and-spoke system.

Stroke patients are assessed at their nearest local hospital (spoke) which is linked to the expert center (hub) to provide clinical examination and cerebral imaging for diagnosis and to deliver clot-dissolving medication, if needed, before transfer to a stroke unit for higher level of care at the expert center (hub).

Two large Baptist Health stroke-certified centers — Baptist Health Lexington, a comprehensive stroke center, and Baptist Health Louisville, a thrombectomy-capable center which can remove a blood clot from inside an artery or vein — serve as the hub sites. Spoke sites include Baptist Health Corbin, Baptist Health Richmond and Baptist Health La Grange. Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville was the first to use the telehealth system for stroke.

Baptist Health Hardin and Baptist Health Floyd are primary stroke centers.

There are two types of strokes, ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by loss of blood flow to the brain due to blockage of a blood vessel. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding into the brain due to rupture of a blood vessel.

The original Kentucky Baptist Hospital in Louisville opened its doors in November 1924 following years of rallying community support and fundraising. Baptist Health has since expanded to nine hospitals and more than 2,700 licensed beds, reaching nearly 75 percent of Kentucky residents and a wide swath of southern Indiana.

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