June 2, 2006
Charlotte, NC – The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, and the Mecklenburg County Health Department, along with Carolinas Healthcare Systems and Presbyterian Healthcare, have created a unique video on preventing stroke with a new emphasis on secondary prevention.
The production, created by the department's Health Communication Team, not only presents a primary message of how to prevent stroke, but also emphasizes the importance of seeking immediate care. Rapid advances in treatment protocols have made getting help quickly essential to the patient maintaining quality of life after a stroke.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department's Stroke Prevention video was made in partnership with the American Stroke Association. It is available for viewing on the Web site
www.meckhealth.org and can also be purchased as a DVD or VHS from the order form online. The video will be distributed to the community through the American Heart Association, the Health Department's Reach 2010 project and lay advisors. It will also air on the Government Channel, Time-Warner cable channel 16.
An evaluation tool was created to measure how the video impacts a patient's health literacy on the topic of stroke prevention. The abstract describing this research project was accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Boston later this year.
Stroke is the number three cause of death among Americans, right behind heart disease and cancer. It happens when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.
Part of the primary prevention message focuses on improving health literacy, helping the patient to know what to look for and what questions to ask to help prevent a stroke. It also teaches them to "know their numbers." A healthy blood pressure and knowing your good and bad cholesterol numbers are vital to maintaining all-round good health.
To significantly reduce your risk of stroke:
• Control your blood pressure
• Don't smoke
• Lower your cholesterol
• Limit your alcohol use
• Control your weight
• Take responsibility for your own health and well-being
More risk factors and warnings signs of stroke can be found online at
www.meckhealth.org. If you feel you have any signs of stroke, get help immediately. Both Presbyterian Hospital and Carolinas Medical Center have Certified Stroke Centers. Remember, when it comes to stroke, every minute counts!