The American Heart Association is Dedicated to Help Stroke Patients Live Longer
February 14th is Valentine's Day, but in our family it also marks an important day for my in-laws. It's the day they were married - 50 years ago, in fact, this year. Because of this milestone, we travelled 800 plus miles to Kansas to help them celebrate.
I must admit, I was dreading the trip. Not because I didn't want to see my in-laws. Despite the typical stereotype of the nagging and annoying in-laws, I actually have no problems with mine. I even enjoy my visits with them for the most part. But I was dreading the trip because of the miserable drive. We thought briefly about flying (realizing now that probably would have been best), but the cost of the tickets held us back. Plus, the idea of lugging a newborn, stroller, car seat, diaper bags and a pack and play through the airport didn't appeal to me either. Plus, since I'm still nursing, I try to avoid public places, especially in tight quarters like an airplane. I'm not one of those bold women who can just whip it out whenever my daughter wants me to. But to be honest, the drive to Kansas wasn't bad, it was the drive home that proved to be a mistake. A winter storm of snow and ice followed us home, putting us a day later getting home than we wanted.
Aside from the icy drive home, the anniversary weekend was a success in my opinion. We had a lovely reception for my in-laws at their church, then went to dinner. On Sunday, with all our family members with us, we watched Annabelle, my daughter, get baptized. Seeing her life just getting started, I hope she has a long and healthy life, like my in-laws. The same goes for my son. I hope my children never have to experience a stroke like me or any other life-threatening disease.
I'm thankfult to see advances in medical care, though, which could help my kids live longer if they do encounter disease. The American Heart Association is dedicated to helping in this. In one of its recent policy statements, it encourages communities to come together to play a critical role in emergency stroke care. The statement says communities should play a major role in supporting a system of emergency care. This care should assure stroke patients that they would get the best treatment as quickly as possible. This works by educatiing the public to recognize stroke symptoms and then to call 911. Then dispatchers would need to dispatch the appropriate pre-hospital instructions and respond with emergency medical services in a timely manner, then tranport the patient to a stroke-ready hospital.
This policy statement is the first of a series focusing on all the components needed for better stroke systems of care. Hopefully, with more awareness and eduacation, we can all expect prompt emergency care in the future, which in turn can reduce disability and the risk of death in stroke victims.