Grand Strand Medical Center - December 23, 2019

Several studies have shown that the risk of heart attack and stroke increase during the months of December and January, with a particular peak on Christmas and New Year's Day. Grand Strand Health is offering tips to prevent these unexpected and serious medical conditions to minimize your chances of an emergency room visit over the holidays.

While cold weather is certainly a trigger for increased blood pressure, the holidays are often a time to indulge in high-fat foods, sugary temptations and alcohol while also exercising less than usual. Researchers also believe people are less likely to interrupt holiday festivities by seeking medical care, which can lead to serious complications if not treated quickly.

"When it comes to stroke, every minute counts" says Dr. Robert Coni, Neurologist at Grand Strand Medical Center. "The CDC states that getting to a hospital within three hours of symptoms allows for the delivery of a medicine that greatly improves the chances of recovering from a stroke. The average stroke response time at Grand Strand Medical Center is 52% faster than the national standard. We are here for even the most critical situations during the holidays."

Follow these tips to ensure you have a festive and healthy holiday season:

  • Eat and drink in moderation
  • Stay active and maintain your regular exercise routine
  • Log at least eight hours of sleep each night
  • Stay smoke-free
  • Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke
  • Consider getting a flu vaccination to decrease the strain that infection and fever creates on the body
  • Reduce stress and steer clear of holiday hassles

If you think you or a loved one are having a stroke or heart attack, do not delay in seeking immediate medical attention. Dial 9-1-1 where medical professionals can begin life-saving treatment and get you to an emergency room right away.