MAYWOOD, IL – In recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month, Loyola Medicine will hold free education-and-screening health fairs, host a mass for stroke survivors and post educational tips on social media in May.
The health fairs, which are open to patients, staff and the public, include education on how to reduce the risk of stroke and how to recognize signs and symptoms of stroke. Attendees also will be offered blood pressure screenings.
The health fairs will be held Tuesday, May 10 through Thursday, May 12 from 11 am to 1 pm near the Jazzman Café in Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, Illinois.
A mass for stroke survivors and their families will be offered at noon Sunday, May 22 in the medical center’s Paul V. Galvin Memorial Chapel.
“Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and a leading cause of disability,” said José Biller, MD, chair of Loyola’s Department of Neurology and an internationally known stroke specialist. “Stroke can happen to anyone at any age.”
Dr. Biller said people can significantly reduce their risk of stroke by controlling risk factors including tobacco and alcohol use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, transient ischemic attacks (mini strokes), diabetes, obesity and heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation.
A stroke is a brain attack that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. Brain cells begin to die.
It’s critically important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke and to call 911 right away. “Time is brain,” Dr. Biller said. “Prompt treatment potentially can reduce stroke damage significantly.”
Video public service announcements with important-to-know facts about stroke will run frequently on Loyola’s social media channels throughout May.
Loyola Medicine and Palos Community Hospital recently launched an innovative telemedicine program that enables Loyola specialists to assist Palos physicians in diagnosing and treating strokes in patients who come to Palos Community Hospital.
For more information about Loyola’s stroke awareness month events, call Jessica Ray, RN, Loyola’s stroke program coordinator, at 708-216-3764.