Am I Am Risk For Stroke? Signs and Symptoms

[Photo] Eileen Hawkins, Eileen Hawkins, RN, MSN, CNRN, Primary Stroke Center Program coordinator

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Did you know that stroke is the number four cause of death in this country and the leading cause of adult disability? As part of National Stroke Awareness Month, Pen Bay Healthcare’s Stroke Center will present a free educational program on Thursday, May 8, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the Picker Family Resource Center. This presentation by Stroke Program coordinator Eileen Hawkins, RN, MSN, CNRN, will cover warning signs and risk factors for stroke, as well as different kinds of stroke, current treatments and what you can do to prevent stroke from happening. Please call to register at 596-8950.

Stroke claims more than 137,000 lives each year and accounts for one of every 18 deaths in this country. Stroke warning signs can be subtle and may include:

• sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;
• sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;
• sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
• sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination;
• sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Missing the warning signs of stroke may put you in danger in a matter of minutes. If you witness someone having any of these warning signs or experience any of these warning signs yourself, call 911 immediately. Stroke is a medical emergency. Treatments are available for the most common type of stroke when a person seeks immediate medical attention. You may be able to save a life or prevent long-term disability.

The Primary Stroke Center at Pen Bay Medical Center is one of four certified Primary Care Stroke Centers in Maine. It uses a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to collaborative treatment and healing with a patient-centered focus on stroke detection and management, from emergency medical services through rehabilitation. Learn more about the Primary Stroke Center at

Eileen Hawkins is coordinator of the Stroke Program at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport. Pen Bay is a certified Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center. This certification of distinction is awarded to hospitals that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke.

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