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Piedmont Walton Hospital is Raising Stroke Awareness

Monroe, Ga. (May 15, 2024) – Stroke is one of the top five causes of death in Georgia and, as a result, Piedmont Walton Hospital is on a mission to increase awareness of stroke signs, symptoms, and risk factors.

Piedmont Walton is both a DNV-certified Acute Stroke Ready Center and designated by the Georgia Department of Health as a Remote Stroke Treatment Center, which validates the hospital’s readiness to handle strokes and stroke-related medical problems. The advantage to having such care in the community is faster diagnosis and treatment, which decreases complications of a stroke.

“Stroke is a serious illness in Georgia and in our community,” said J. Garrett Polston, RN, Piedmont Walton’s trauma program manager and stroke and chest pain program coordinator. ““These certifications let the community know that we have the right combination of personnel, training, and resources to quickly assess, identify and treat strokes.”  

In March 2024, former Monroe Police Chief Keith Glass suffered a stroke at his home before being treated at Piedmont Walton Hospital. In an interview with The Walton Tribune, Glass shares that knowing the symptoms of a stroke and getting help quickly “helped mitigate potential long-term damage from stroke."

The team at Piedmont Walton is providing evidence-based care for stroke patients, improving treatment outcomes, and the quality of life for our patients," said Polston.

A stroke is a medical emergency and 9-1-1 should be called immediately. The sooner a patient is diagnosed and receives treatment, the better their chance of avoiding long-term complications or disabilities. If the signs and symptoms of a stroke are present, B.E.F.A.S.T.:

  • Balance- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination,
  • Eyes- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes,
  • Face- Sudden drooping of one side of the face,
  • Arm- Sudden numbness or weakness of the arm, leg, or face (especially one side of the body).
  • Speech- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech,
  • Terrible Headache- A sudden severe headache with no known cause.

“Being able to prevent and recognize a stroke is extremely important. Everyone should know their risk factors, such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, all of which can be addressed to prevent a stroke. Seeking treatment quickly could be the difference between walking out of the hospital and depending on someone to care for you for the rest of your life,” said Polston.

Talk to your primary care physician about how to prevent strokes or visit to learn more about services offered at Piedmont Walton Hospital to diagnose and treat strokes.

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