Comprehensive Stroke Center in Myrtle Beach, SC
Grand Strand Health strives to meet and exceed national standards for acute stroke care with a multidisciplinary group of specialists providing prompt, compassionate treatment. As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, Horry, Georgetown and Brunswick county residents and visitors can get the care they need quickly at the first signs of stroke symptoms.
If you or a loved one are displaying signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately.
Grand Strand Medical Center is a Comprehensive Stroke Center certified by DNV GL. This designation demonstrates compliance with current guidelines and advances for stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).
Grand Strand Medical Center is recognized as being certified for stroke rehabilitation by the Joint Commission, a leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States.
Our stroke program offers a streamlined approach to stroke care, with priority given to acute stroke patients. Getting treatment as soon as possible after symptoms begin is crucial to preventing and reversing permanent brain damage and resulting disability. That's why our emergency services are always standing by to provide immediate assessment, evaluation and intervention.
Our stroke team
Patients who need hospitalization are treated in our dedicated stroke unit. This unit is staffed by nurses who have received additional training in stroke care. These specialists teach patients about follow-up care, stroke prevention and lifestyle modifications before they leave the hospital. Research has shown that patients who receive care at a designated stroke center have improved life expectancy and decreased disability.
Our stroke team includes experts from a variety of medical backgrounds, including:
- Case management
- Emergency medicine
- Interventional neurology
- Laboratory and imaging services
- Minimally invasive surgery
- Neurological care, including neurosurgery
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
Our multidisciplinary team is committed to promoting functional return to daily activities. All stroke patients are evaluated for indications of need for physical or speech therapy.
Stroke prevention and risk factors
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced. When this happens, brain tissue does not receive adequate oxygen. This can lead to lasting damage if not quickly treated.
Many factors contribute to a patient's likelihood of experiencing a stroke. While not all can be controlled, several can be better managed starting today. Risk factors of stroke include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Family history of stroke
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation)
- Physical inactivity and obesity
Stroke warning signs: BE FAST!
A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is vital to preserving brain cells and increasing the chances of a positive outcome. Call 911 immediately if a person is experiencing any of these symptoms:
- B is for Balance: Does the person have a sudden loss of balance?
- E is for Eyes: Has the person lost vision in one or both eyes?
- F is for Face: Does the person's face look uneven?
- A is for Arms: Is one arm hanging down?
- S is for Speech: Is the person's speech slurred?
- T is for Time: Call 911 now!
Diagnosing ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes
There are two main types of stroke. When blood flow to the brain is blocked, it is called an ischemic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs if a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into or around the brain.
Patients brought to Grand Strand Medical Center with stroke symptoms are evaluated in our emergency department. Evaluation for stroke includes:
- Blood work
- Chest X-rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) scans of the brain
- Electrocardiography (EKGs)
- Swallow studies
It is important that anyone experiencing stroke symptoms call 911 rather than drive to the hospital. EMS personnel can communicate with the hospital en route, and EMS patients are transported immediately for a CT scan.
Patients diagnosed with an ischemic stroke and whose symptoms began within the previous 3-4.5 hours may be offered tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. This is a clot dissolving drug administered to help restore blood flow to the brain. Patients diagnosed with a hemorrhagic stroke may be taken to surgery or to our intensive care unit for monitoring.