Tasha Fox was having a quiet morning in January 2019 at her home in Roundup, Montana. While Tasha was eating, she noticed she continually was dropping her spoon and was having difficulty speaking without slurring her words. When her boyfriend returned home, he became concerned that she also was stumbling and having difficulty walking.
Not yet knowing what was happening, Tasha was rushed to the nearest hospital. The team there quickly decided she needed to go to a larger hospital in Billings. This particular hospital recently joined in partnership with Swedish Medical Center as a telemedicine site in the Swedish telestroke network. The Swedish telestroke network encompasses 52 sites throughout a five-state region. Telemedicine is technology that enables hospitals to treat stroke patients with immediate consultation from a stroke neurologist. From laptop computers, they can examine patients closely, even focusing in to look at subtle eye movement that can be important in delivering care. Neurologists can read vital signs on bedside computers and talk in real time with the patient, family members and emergency room professionals.
The collaborative team determined that Tasha was suffering a stroke and she was flown from Montana to Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado. At Swedish, she received life-saving expert care from our team of stroke neurologists.
Today, Tasha is continuing to recover from the traumatic event that morning in February. She is grateful she was able to receive care that saved her life. Now, Tasha and her family are advocating for everyone to know the signs of stroke. A stroke is a race against the clock. It's important to remember:
- B- Balance: Does the person seem to have a sudden loss of balance?
- E- Eyes: Ask the person if they have sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes.
- F - Face: Ask the person to smile, does one side of the face droop downward?
- A - Arm: Can the person raise both arms?
- S - Speech: Is speech slurred or confusing?
- T - Time: Time to call 9-1-1 immediately.
If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke remember, B.E.F.A.S.T. Think Swedish.