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Stroke Services at Sturdy Memorial Hospital

Sturdy Memorial Hospital is a designated stroke center by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). A multidisciplinary team of practitioners in emergency medicine, nursing, neurology, radiology, and the laboratory provides diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients who present with acute stroke symptoms. Patients also have the support of ongoing evaluations offered by speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Additionally, the Stroke Committee oversees and monitors the program for quality improvement and provides ongoing direction for our stroke services, assessments, and treatments.

Act F.A.S.T. In The Presence Of Stroke Symptoms

A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply - and the oxygen and nutrients it carries - to the brain, which is caused by either a clot or burst and leads to brain cell death and brain damage. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is a leading cause of death as well as severe, long-term disability as it can cause paralysis, vision problems, memory loss, and speech/language problems. Act F.A.S.T. if you think someone may be having a stroke. You could save a life.

  • Face. Ask the person to smile. A stroke can cause one side of the face to droop. Abrupt dimming of vision or a sudden, severe headache with no known cause are also warning signs.
  • Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. If one arm drifts downward, that could signal a stroke, which can trigger weakness, numbness or paralysis of an arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body. Sufferers may also have unexplained loss of balance, or a sudden fall.
  • Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Stroke victims may slur their words, have trouble speaking or understanding speech, or not be able to talk at all.
  • Time. If the person has any of these symptoms, call 911. Stroke is a life-or-death emergency in which every minute counts. Brain cells are dying.

The best way to prevent a stroke is to reduce your stroke risk factors. Some risk factors, such as increasing age, gender, family history, race and prior stroke or heart attack, can't be changed. Others, however, can be controlled or treated. They include: high blood pressure, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and obesity.

To find out more about your stroke risk, visit the National Stroke Association website at and speak with your primary care physician.