A Joint Commission-Certified Primary Stroke Facility
McAllen Medical Center is a certified Level II Primary Stroke Facility, and is designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services. McAllen Medical Center's stroke facility is a Joint Commission-certified primary stroke facility in Hidalgo County, making it an invaluable resource to the community. The facility meets the current Brain Attack Coalition recommendations, actively participates on the appropriate Regional Advisory Council and submits data to the department as requested.
Leading Cause of Adult Disability
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke.
A stroke, sometimes referred to as a cerebral vascular accident or a “brain attack,” is an interruption in the flow of blood to brain cells. Brain cells die when deprived of oxygen from blood. A stroke occurs when a blockage of an artery prevents blood from reaching cells in the brain, or when an artery ruptures inside or outside the brain, causing hemorrhage. According to experts, a stroke should be treated with the same urgency as a heart attack. Every second is critical to patient care, survival and subsequent quality of life.
If you or a loved one experience any signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately!
Our stroke unit offers a rapid-response to evaluate and treat all stroke emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our team-based approach allows for streamlined treatment and services. We offer advanced diagnostics and stroke treatments, including thrombolytic therapy, which can greatly benefit patients if administered within three hours of a stroke.
To help deliver prompt, quality care, the multidisciplinary stroke team may consist of:
- Emergency physicians and nurses
- Specially-trained nurses
- Medical technicians
Know the Warning Signs of a Possible Stroke
As every second is critical to patient care, it is important to know the warning signs of a possible stroke, listed below.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
If you or someone you're with has any of these symptoms, you must get yourself or them to a hospital immediately. Staff in the emergency department will administer acute stroke medications to try to stop a stroke while it is happening. Ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, is treated with the 'clot-busting' drug known as tPA. The drug must be given to patients within three- to four-and-a-half hours after the onset of stroke symptoms.
BE FAST and Save a Life
If you suspect you or your loved one is having a stroke, remember to BE FAST:
- Balance is affected. A person may fall or feel unsteady.
- Eyes are blurry or have difficulty seeing when you ask a person about their vision.
- Face droops when you ask a person to smile.
- Arm weakness when you ask a person to raise their arms above their head.
- Speech is slurred when you ask a person to repeat a sentence.
- Time is important. If you notice symptoms of a possible stroke, call 9-1-1.
The best way to keep your brain healthy is to avoid a stroke in the first place. The best ways to prevent stroke are to do the following:
- Keep your blood pressure controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medications
- Don't smoke or stop smoking
- Take steps to manage your cholesterol
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
Stroke resources can be found on the American Stroke Association's website.
Find a Stroke Care Physician
Call Valley Care Clinics at 1-855-VCC-APPT (855-822-2778).