Health First Medical Experts: Delayed 9-1-1 Call May Cost You Your Life
By Space Coast Daily // June 22, 2022
Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S.
Stroke experts, Cardiologist say blocked arteries don’t have to be deadly or cause long-term damage. Brevard residents enjoy world-class care in their backyards.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Health First stroke and cardiology experts gathered Thursday in Viera to deliver this life-saving medical message: If you’re experiencing stroke or heart attack symptoms, time is not on your side. And delaying that call to 9-1-1 may be debilitating – if not deadly.
“People are delaying getting to the hospital. They’re worried about calling 9-1-1. They’re not wanting to bother other people,” said Whitney Adkins, Neurosciences Coordinator and stroke expert at Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center, the area’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center.
“With stroke, 2 million brain cells die every single minute.”
The presentation to the 55-and-older Grand Isles community clubhouse took place over a light lunch provided by Health First.
Cardiologist Dr. Kevin Campbell told the audience of a recent case of a woman who came in complaining of “burning in her stomach.” She thought it was indigestion.
“She had a huge clot in her right coronary artery – she was having a huge heart attack. I sent her straight to the Cath Lab” where heart catheterizations are performed, he said. “Three weeks later, she’s fine – no heart damage.”
Adkins and colleague Chandra Etwaru played for the audience the harrowing recovery of a 35-year-old stroke victim featured on Fox 35 News in Orlando. Her stroke symptoms were spotted, and emergency responders rushed her to Holmes Regional, where she received a stroke-reversing thrombectomy.
“I’ll tell you something personal: I came from Duke University, which is one of the finest academic medical institutions in the world,” Dr. Campbell said. “Now that I’m at Health First, I have some of the best partners in the world.”
Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S., and there are about 800,000 each year. The mnemonic Adkins told Grand Isle residents to bear in mind B.E. F.A.S.T.
■ Balance Is you or your loved one unsteady?
■ Eyes Is there vision loss?
■ Face Does the smile look uneven?
■ Arm Is one arm weak?
■ Speech Is speech slurred?
■ Time Time to get help.
To begin exploring a person’s risk for stroke, Health First has developed a quick Stroke Risk Quiz, HF.org/Stroke.
Know Your Risks
Heart attacks and heart disease can be tougher to spot, so physicians often begin by discussing high-risk factors:
■ Blood pressure
■ Tobacco use
To learn more about your risk for heart disease, visit HF.org/Heart.
“I think there are a lot of us in my age group who deny or don’t allow themselves to think of what might happen, and having Health First come in like this, I think the education is incalculable,” said Pat Dennis, a Grand Isles resident who coordinated the lunch with neighbor Lucie Caldwell.
“You know, if someone gets a headache and blurry vision, I want them to call 9-1-1,” Caldwell said, “and I think they got that out of the presentation.”
Visit HF.org/news_and_events to find out what’s happening at Health First.