Thursday, September 21st, 2017
Considering that strokes rank as one of the top three causes of death in the United States, any signs or symptoms should be taken seriously and cared for immediately. Just as if someone were suffering from a heart-attack, seeking medical attention right away for a stroke is paramount; however, when dealing with a stroke, the signs may not be so easy to recognize, which means that finding help may not be a first reaction.
When dealing with a stroke, the warning signs can be subtle. Since a stroke consists of a sudden loss of oxygen to the brain, there is not a strong presence of pain or severe discomfort (pain is typically associated with serious medical issues). Nonetheless, the rate at which brain damage can occur during a stroke is rapid, and survival is dependent upon how quickly one can get to a hospital for treatment. By learning the symptoms of a stroke and familiarizing yourself with how to prepare for one, you or a loved one will have a much better possibility of recovery.
According to The Stroke Association based in the United Kingdom, an individual will display certain signs when they are experiencing a stroke. To help recognize these symptoms, the organization has created the acronym F.A.S.T.:
Time to call 911
Although pain may not always be present, someone who is suffering from a stroke will exhibit physical impairments that are easy to spot. First off, see if the individual can smile. If you notice right away that the smile is only apparent on one side of the face, a stroke may be imminent. Next, have the individual lift their arms and hold them in place. For many people who are suffering from a stroke, only one arm can be raised or both raised arms will quickly sink. If these signs aren’t as clear, have the individual recite a basic sentence or read something from a book. If their speech patterns are slurred or incomprehensible, chances are that they are having a stroke.
The person suffering from a stroke must be taken to the Emergency Room (ER) as quickly as possible. Once checked in, the patient will be inspected by medical professionals to pinpoint the kind of stroke they are experiencing. If for some reason you or a loved one cannot travel safely to the ER, calling an ambulance is always a good idea because they have the ability to arrive quickly at your location and can administer treatment while traveling. In addition, the ER will have a team standing by once the ambulance arrives on site.
Getting to the ER as quickly as possible is perhaps the most important part of managing a stroke because brain tissue can die at a rapid pace. Statistics show that the initial 10–20 minutes of a stroke plays a crucial role in deciding the overall quality and chance of survival. If you recognize the signs, don’t hesitate to call.
After the call is made, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) will arrive on the scene and assess the situation. They will begin by checking the patient’s vital signs, administering an IV, and possibly provide them with oxygen for stabilization during transit.
Once they arrive at the ER, a medical team will take over, reviewing the patient and drawing blood for further analysis. Soon after, the team will conduct an electrocardiogram (EKG) to display the patient’s heartbeat along with carrying out other vital checkups. In addition to an EKG, a computed tomographic scan (CT scan) will also be performed to identify what kind of stroke the patient has. These scans have the ability to track any bleeding in the brain that pertains to a stroke of such a magnitude, but more often than not, the scan may fail to distinguish infarction strokes (caused by a blocked blood vessel). During the initial 24 hours of a stroke, injured brain tissue mimics healthy tissue on the scanner, so infarction strokes can be deceiving. Either way, medical professionals will be able to examine the test’s results and figure out the best plan of action for immediate treatment.
In terms of immediate treatment, the ultimate goal for a medical team to accomplish is stabilization and risk reduction. Stabilizing the patient means maintaining proper vital signs, limiting the size of blood-vessel blockage, minimizing long-term disabilities, and impeding further health issues.
For the best possible outcome, these treatments should be initiated within the first hour of the patient’s entry into the ER or upon traveling in the ambulance. For a more specific stroke—typically ischemic strokes—a doctor may administer tPA (tissue Plasminogen Activator) that dissolves blood clots preventing blood flow to the brain; however, there are restrictions on who can receive this type of treatment. Consult with your doctor to discuss any options you may be unsure of during the treatment process, but most importantly, remain calm and stay engaged in the conversation.
Caring for a stroke patient requires a great deal of attention when a stroke takes place, and doctors do their best to produce the most positive outcome when a stroke subsides. With that in mind, it is not uncommon to experience complications after a stroke, so knowing what issues may come as a result will prepare you to handle them in the best frame of mind.
Some of these complications include cerebral edema, seizures, limb contractures, hypertension, hyperglycemia, fever, falls and slips (most common), and pneumonia. If and when a complication takes place, talk with your doctor to decide the next step to take toward recovery.
Remember, the first 24 hours of a stroke are the most crucial, and a tremendous amount of focus and resilience is required to make the right choices. With this breakdown, you’ll be able to efficiently assess yours or a loved one’s state of being, using your analysis to then get to the ER or make the call for an ambulance as soon as possible. When it comes to the brain, every second counts, and being prepared can make a world of difference.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by the Saebo website is solely at your own risk.
Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
Saebo is excited to partner with Work Your M.O.T.O.R. in the development of a new home exercise mobile app for patients. Work your M.O.T.O.R (Motivating Occupational Therapist Optimizing Rehab) is an online exercise program for anyone who has had a stroke or brain injury. The exercises are light, fun and creative to help continue your recovery at home. The Work Your M.O.T.O.R staff has over 25 years combined experience working as occupational therapists in both inpatient and outpatient settings specializing in stroke rehabilitation. The exercise team has the added benefit of real life stroke survivors who understand what you are going through, every step of the way. Work Your M.O.T.O.R series include: stretching, upper and lower body strengthening, standing balance, core exercises and fine motor coordination. Each workout is 20 minutes or less and can be completed from the comfort of your own home.
Research shows physical activity reduces your stroke risk by between 25% and 30%. Exercise also increases your chance of regaining function after a stroke. After suffering a stroke, survivors who don’t begin an exercise regimen may experience additional, preventable problems such as physical deconditioning and fatigue. Any amount of physical activity is a positive step for stroke survivors. Over time, even light activity such as walking around the block or doing laundry will contribute to physical improvements and help prevent further deterioration. However, activities of moderate intensity are even more beneficial for your health. If you want to reclaim a specific function, for example, you should incorporate a variety of at-home exercises to target individual body parts. Remember, a full recovery is only possible if you take direct action to reclaim function in the months and years that follow. By following an exercise program that targets specific areas and functions, you can reclaim your coordination, strength, and range of motion throughout your body.
Monday, September 18th, 2017
For those who have suffered from a stroke, brain surgery is a viable option to improve the quality and longevity of their lives. No matter what the surgery may be, it’s never easy to experience it, let alone make the decision to undergo it; however, as a patient or a supporter of one, it’s good to know every possible avenue that can lead to a successful recovery.
Friday, September 15th, 2017
The Universal Institute Rehabilitation & Life Center in Livingston, New Jersey recently purchased the SaeboVR, becoming the first facility in the United States to offer this innovative virtual reality technology to patients. The SaeboVR is the world’s first FDA-approved ADL-focused virtual reality rehabilitation system, and was made available to clinicians only a few months ago. The clinicians at UIRehab are very excited about their new device, and have already begun utilizing the SaeboVR during therapy sessions.
“Utilization of the new Saebo virtual reality has been a great success with our clients. SaeboVR has allowed clients the opportunity to participate and familiarize themselves with community tasks without having to leave the facility. Our clients are more motivated to use their affected side and participate in therapy since they are engaging in activities they enjoy.”
Christine White, Director of OT, BS, COTA, CCCE
Friday, September 15th, 2017
World-renowned stroke rehabilitation company, Saebo, Inc. celebrates their 15-year anniversary this month.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – September 15, 2017 – Fifteen years ago, two occupational therapists united with one simple, powerful goal: to provide transformative, affordable rehabilitation products to neurological patients. This month, Saebo, Inc. celebrates their 15-Year Anniversary and reflects on their noteworthy success in the rehab industry and their commitment to “No Plateau in Sight.”
Before Saebo was established, treatment options for improving upper extremity function were limited, and existing technology was very expensive, making it unobtainable for many clinics and home use. Sub-standard therapy methods often resulted in unfavorable outcomes, leading health providers to assume their clients had “reached a plateau.” Saebo’s founders believed it was not the patient, but the treatment options that had plateaued, and were inspired to develop affordable, accessible, life-changing solutions.
Saebo has since grown into a leading global provider of rehabilitation products, developed through extensive research and based on the latest advances in medical technology. Saebo’s flagship product, the SaeboFlex, has helped tens of thousands of clients all over the world improve hand function. Most stroke survivors, head injury patients, and incomplete spinal cord injury patients do not exhibit sufficient active wrist or finger extension to allow the hand to be functional. Designed to help patients functionally incorporate their hand and arm in therapy and at home, the SaeboFlex positions the wrist and fingers into extension to allow the user to grasp and release objects to perform more functional activities. The SaeboFlex was recently featured in an article published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, in which a patient regained hand function more than 23 years after his stroke with the help of this revolutionary device.
“I am so proud of what Saebo has accomplished in the last 15 years,” says co-founder Henry Hoffman. “Not only have we positively changed the way therapists treat stroke patients throughout the world, but we have also stayed true to our company mission, which is to provide affordable, innovative, and meaningful technology. With access to life-changing innovations, stroke survivors world-wide can have a much-deserved second chance. That will continue to be our mission at Saebo.”
Today, Saebo offers a full, comprehensive line of rehabilitation products for in-home and clinical use, ranging from mobile arm supports and foot drop braces to electrical stimulation and virtual reality programs. Saebo’s 30-Day Risk-Free Trial program includes free shipping and a 100% Money-Back Guarantee, in which patients can try any patient product for 30 days, with the option to return the device for any reason for a full refund. Saebo also offers a free in-clinic demo of any capital equipment device, giving therapists the opportunity to try these innovative products on their own patients, in their own facilities, to experience how beneficial these treatment options could be for their practice.
Saebo, Inc. is a medical device company primarily engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of affordable and novel clinical solutions designed to improve mobility and function in individuals suffering from neurological and orthopedic conditions. With a vast network of Saebo-trained clinicians spanning six continents, Saebo has helped over 250,000 clients around the globe achieve a new level of independence. For more information about Saebo, please visit: www.saebo.com.
Thursday, September 14th, 2017
After suffering from a stroke, it is likely that a survivor will have limited activity. Issues with daily routines and general mobility are common, but one of the most difficult factors to consider is the idea of traveling by plane.
Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
Whether you’re awake or asleep, your brain is continuously active. Vast amounts of information—thoughts, moments, feelings, etc.—are sent to your brain, where they are filtered and stored, and it’s important for your brain to be working properly in order to place them in the right spots.
Thursday, August 24th, 2017
Just as smoking a cigarette can increase your chances of having lung cancer, being overweight can greatly increase your chances of having a stroke. Because of excess fat in the body, inflammation is likely to occur, which causes poor blood flow and potential blockages—two major causes of stroke.
Monday, August 21st, 2017
Without a doubt, surgeries following serious health issues have shown major results in improving a survivor’s quality of life. For those who suffer from heart conditions, forms of cancer, and even joint pain, a variety of operations can offer great recovery possibilities, but these procedures can also have their fair share of complications in the process.
Friday, August 18th, 2017
A stroke—no matter how severe—can be devastating. Not only does it have the potential to cause damage physically and mentally, but the recovery process can be equally as difficult to navigate. With countless hurdles to overcome, monitoring progress during stroke recovery can be very frustrating, but there are certain things that you or a loved one can do to improve the experience and see results.