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Main Line Health honors National Stroke Awareness Month with focus on prevention, treatment and research

May 2, 2019 Research News

Each year, almost 800,000 people in the United States suffer from a stroke, and more than 140,000 of those strokes are fatal. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death of Americans—and the third leading cause of death among women—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and Main Line Health reminds all members of the community to be proactive in reducing their risk of stroke.

“It’s important to know and understand the risk factors associated with stroke so that you can make certain lifestyle modifications to reduce that risk, if possible,” says Michelle J. Smith, MD, system division chief of neurosurgery, Main Line Health.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and diabetes are leading causes of stroke, and about one-third of U.S. adults has at least one of these conditions or habits, according to the CDC.

“It’s critical to seek medical attention if you notice the symptoms of a stroke. The faster stroke treatment can be given, the better chance a patient has for recovery. Remember: time is brain,” says Dr. Smith. “There’s an easy trick to help you remember the symptoms of stroke: F.A.S.T., which stands for face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty and time to call 911. It’s a very simple way to remember the symptoms of a stroke and the importance of acting quickly.”

Sheetal Chandhok, MD, a cardiology arrhythmia specialist and Main Line Health’s principal investigator for several clinical studies, notes that another risk factor of stroke is atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. “At Main Line Health we offer advanced technology and the latest clinical trials for patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation,” says Dr. Chandhok “Currently we offer clinical trials that correct irregular heart rhythms which cause stroke, as well as trials which can directly reduce stroke risk in lieu of anticoagulation. Patients with arrhythmia or who are at risk for stroke should talk with their physicians to determine their eligibility to participate in a clinical trial.”

Main Line Health’s Lankenau Institute for Medical Research conducts cardiovascular clinical research to help identify future potential treatment options for those at high risk for stroke. To see a full list of Main Line Health’s current cardiovascular clinical trials, visit mainlinehealth.org/cardiactrials. Patients interested in participating in clinical trials at a Main Line Health hospital should speak with their physicians.

“By participating in a clinical research trial, eligible patients gain access to potential new treatments or therapeutic practices before they are available to the general public. They also advance medical knowledge and help others who may develop or have similar diseases or conditions,” adds Dr. Chandhok.

Main Line Health’s Bryn Mawr Hospital has received Advanced Thrombectomy-Capable Accreditation from The Joint Commission and is one of only three sites in the state of Pennsylvania with this designation. Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure during which physicians thread a catheter through a blood vessel in the groin up to a blocked blood vessel in the patient’s brain to clear it and help restore blood flow.

For more information about Stroke Care at Main Line Health, including stroke rehabilitation services at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, visit mainlinehealth.org/stroke. In celebration of National Stroke Awareness Month, Main Line Health Community Health and Equity is providing employee and community stroke screenings. For more information, visit mainlinehealth.org/events.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985,Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

Main Line Health also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton, King of Prussia and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare,one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR’s principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.