Power Up your Stroke Knowledge

Learn more about stroke risk factors, warning signs and treatment options

PLEASANT GAPMay is National Stroke Awareness Month and HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital is raising awareness with our annual stroke month campaign, “Strengthen.Heal.Overcome.”  By providing education about stroke risk factors and symptoms, we aim to help many residents of the Centre region reduce their risk.

According to the American Heart Association, each year about 795,000 Americans experience a new or recurrent stroke. Cerebrovascular accident, also known as CVA or stroke, strikes someone every 40 seconds, and every four minutes someone dies from a stroke.

Stroke is also the leading cause of disability in the United States, but recent surveys have found that less than 40 percent of Americans know the most common warning signs of stroke.

The warning signs of stroke include sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; or
  • Severe headache with no known cause.

Certain risk factors for stroke are hereditary, while others may result from lifestyle choices. Some of the risk factors for stroke that can be changed, treated or controlled are high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes, carotid or other artery disease, atrial fibrillation, poor diet, physical inactivity or obesity. A healthcare professional can help you make changes in your health routine and lifestyle that can lower your risk for stroke.

Many stroke survivors can benefit from medical rehabilitation as part of the recovery process. Rehabilitation can help survivors make the improvements that mean the difference between returning home or staying in an institution. According to the American Stroke Association, 60 – 80 percent of stroke survivors could benefit from an intense stroke rehabilitation program.

“It is important for the public to realize how important immediate treatment and rehabilitation are to the stroke recovery process,” said Richard Allatt, MD, FRCPC, medical director of HealthSouth Nittany Valley. “Rehabilitation restores function, teaches people with disabilities new ways to perform daily activities and provides education and support for the stroke survivor and family. Going along with our theme for stroke month this year, the rehabilitation at our hospital helps people strengthen, heal and overcome.”

In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month, Mount  Nittany Health and HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital invite the public to a free community event.  “Time Loss = Brain Loss: How to recognize and act on signs of a stroke quickly” is May 21 at 6 p.m. at the Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Auditorium, MountNittanyMedicalCenter.  Pre-registration is required; call 814 234-6727 to register, or visit mountnittany.org/events for more information.

About HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital

HealthSouth NittanyV alley Rehabilitation Hospital is a 73-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital that offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. Serving patients throughout the Centre region and five surrounding counties, the hospital is located at 550 West College Ave., Pleasant Gap, and on the Web at www.NittanyValleyRehab.com. Outpatient clinics are located in Pleasant Gap, Mifflintown and Lewistown. 

About HealthSouth

HealthSouth is the nation’s largest owner and operator of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in terms of patients treated and discharged, revenues and number of hospitals. Operating in 28 states across the country and in Puerto Rico, HealthSouth serves patients through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation satellite clinics and home health agencies. HealthSouth’s hospitals provide a higher level of rehabilitative care to patients who are recovering from conditions such as stroke and other neurological disorders, orthopedic, cardiac and pulmonary conditions, brain and spinal cord injuries, and amputations. HealthSouth can be found on the Web at www.healthsouth.com.


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