A stroke can cost much more than missed days of work and medication.
By 2030, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association estimate the annual cost to treat strokes will rise to an estimated $183.13 billion. That's because while more people are surviving strokes, many are walking away with lasting disability.
Dr. Richard V. Smith serves as medical director of NeuroScience Institute at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. During a recent interview with KFOR-TV, he stressed the importance of getting patients specialized care within three hours of first symptoms - which include weakness or numbness, confusion and sudden changes of vision.
While there are many hospitals that can treat patients, very few have been recognized by The Joint Commission as being advanced certified comprehensive stroke centers. Just 120 hosptials - including Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City - have reached this certification of providing the highest level of care and treating the most complex cases. For patients, this could make all the difference in their recovery. Each minute a stroke goes untreated, millions of brain cells affecting speech, movement and memory are impacted.