Heart Institute

785-625-4699 or 888-625-4699
2nd Floor Bickle Family Tower
2220 Canterbury Drive
Hays, KS 67601 | Directions

certified-strokeHaysMed is the first hospital in Kansas to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center hospital by DNV Healthcare, which validates its dedication to the latest and most rapid care possible for stroke victims.The three-year certification from DNV Healthcare, a hospital accreditation organization with some of the toughest standards in health care, means HaysMed’s stroke response staff follows the best methods to fast-track patients suspected of stroke so doctors can begin brain-saving treatments immediately.

Stroke Act Fast! Strokes Treatable if Caught Early

The National Stroke Association states that the most important thing to remember is to act fast if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following stroke symptoms. In fact, F.A.S.T. will help you remember some of the signs.

F – Face – Sudden numbness in the face, especially on one side of the body. That side of the face may droop. Ask the person to smile.
A – Arm – Sudden arm weakness or numbness. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – Speech – Sudden slurred speech or difficulty understanding words or simple sentences. It may also be difficult to swallow. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
T – Time – Call 911 and get to the closest Emergency Room immediately if the person shows any of these symptoms. Remember, time lost is brain lost.

Strokes are the leading cause of disability and the fourth leading cause of death in America. In many cases, however, they don’t have to be disabling or deadly. Knowing the warning signs of a stroke and acting quickly may help you or your loved one escape the damaging effects of a “brain attack.” Treatments are now available that can help prevent a stroke.


Strokes are caused by problems with the circulation of blood in the brain. Blood circulation to the brain can be affected by either a hemorrhage, when a blood vessel bursts (hemorrhagic stroke), or a blockage, when a clot blocks the flow of blood (ischemic stroke).


When 1 of these problems occurs, a person may experience 1 or more symptoms that happen suddenly. The symptoms may continue or they may disappear within minutes to hours. Warning signs to be aware of include:
•    Numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs, often on 1 side of the body
•    Sudden onset dizziness
•    Loss of vision in 1 eye or double vision
•    Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
•    Severe, sudden headache

It is very important to call 911 immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. Medications can be given in a hospital that can reverse the stroke, but they must be given within the first 3 hours of the onset of symptoms. Every minute counts.


Once warning symptoms are recognized, doctors can begin appropriate treatment. Treatments for strokes are very specific and depend on the type, size, and location of the blockage or disruption of blood flow in the brain. They may include the use of powerful drugs to dissolve brain clots or reduce and prevent hemorrhaging, or emergency surgical intervention may be necessary to stop bleeding into the brain. Quick action and early treatment can make a profound difference for a person’s health.

Although anyone can have a stroke, certain factors can place a person at higher risk. These factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, family history of stroke, irregular heartbeat (particularly atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation), and a narrowing of the arteries. People with 1 or more risk factors should receive a stroke screening test from their health care provider. The screening can include a review of medical history, a physical exam, an ultrasound exam of the neck to detect blood flow disturbances in the carotid arteries, and blood tests for blood sugar and cholesterol levels (lipid profile).

Stroke prevention is also important. You can help prevent a stroke by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. Keep chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, under control by taking your medications and getting regular checkups.

Links to additional information on Stroke & Heart Disease

Stroke Association
Power to End Stroke 

Heart & Stroke Encyclopedia
Stroke Risk Scorecard
NW Kansas Stroke and Neuro Support Group