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If You Suspect Stroke, BE FAST

At the first sign of stroke, you need experts who can promptly diagnose and treat. The experienced physicians at Mercy Medical Center  provide coordinated response and specialized stroke services 24 hours a day. 


Primary Stroke Center

Mercy Medical Center offers access to quality treatment for acute strokes. Patients arriving to the Emergency Department experiencing stroke symptoms are evaluated for possible treatment with thrombolytics. Dignity Health's emergency medicine physicians have been trained in the assessment of acute stroke patients and work in collaboration with our stroke teleneurologists. 

Signs and Symptoms

Watch for these sudden signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke:

  • Loss of balance, experiencing dizziness
  • Loss of vision or trouble with seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble with speaking and understanding
  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg
  • Severe headache

When a patient arrives and shows signs of a possible stroke, a Stroke Alert is called, quickly putting the wheels in motion to assemble a specialized team, consult a neurologist and perform a CT scan to diagnose the type of stroke. Depending on the type of stroke, patients may receive a medication to quickly dissolve the clot and restore blood flow to the brain.

B.E. F.AS.T.

To B.E. F.A.S.T. , check for:

BALANCE: Loss of balance - Do they have loss of balance or are they dizzy?


EYES: Vision loss in one or both eyes - Can they see out of both eyes ok? Ask them if they have sudden vision loss or blurry or double vision?


FACE: Face Drooping– Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?


ARMS: Arm Weakness– Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH: Speech Difficulty– Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?

TIME: Time to call 911– If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Stroke Risk Factors

Uncontrollable Risk Factors: Age, race, gender, and family history.

Manageable Risk Factors: High blood pressure, atrial fibrillation "A-fib", high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, poor circulation, lack of physical activity, and obesity.

Stroke Prevention and Treatment

Our stroke treatment and prevention efforts include:

  • Assessment for and treatment of heart rhythms that may contribute to a stroke
  • Administration of medications designed to reduce the chance of recurrent strokes
  • Therapies aimed at preventing additional blood clots from developing
  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Patient and family education

Assess your risk of stroke and identify potential ways to lower your personal risk factors by taking the assement below.

Learn More

For more information on our Stroke Center please call (209) 354-8054.