If you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke, time is of the essence. That's why it's good to know you don't have to leave Maui for excellent stroke care.
Maui Memorial Medical Center is recognized by The Joint Commission as a Certified Primary Stroke Center. We're also an American Stroke Association "Get With the Guidelines" Gold Plus, Target: Stroke Honor Roll Award recipient. The award is one of the highest achieved by a Hawaii hospital and means we have the medical knowledge and abilities to treat all kinds of stroke 24/7, with access to a Maui neurologist at any time of the day or night. We are the best hospital for stroke treatment on Maui.
Are you at risk for stroke?
Learn your risk factors and start taking steps to protect yourself.
Are you at risk for stroke?
Stroke risk assessment
Answering the following questions can help you learn more about your risk for stroke. Once you know your risk factors, work with your doctor to make lifestyle changes and treat medical conditions that could be putting you on the path to a stroke.
Note: This assessment is not intended to be a substitute for a visit with your healthcare provider.
Are you 55 or older?
If you answered "yes." The older you are, the greater your stroke risk. In fact, the risk doubles every decade after age 55.
If you answered "no." Your stroke risk doubles every decade after age 55, but stroke can strike at any age. Be sure you take steps to manage any controllable risk factors you may have.
Are you African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native?
If you answered "yes." African Americans have almost double the rate of stroke as white people. This can be due, in part, to a higher incidence of high blood pressure, diabetes and other problems, all of which increase the risk of stroke.
Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives also have a higher risk of stroke than white people.
If you answered "no." Your race and ethnicity don't appear to put you at increased risk for stroke. However, stroke affects people of all races and ethnicities, so take steps to control any other risk factors you have.
Do you have a family history of stroke?
If you answered "yes." If anyone in your family has had a stroke, everyone in the family has a higher risk of having a stroke.
If you answered "no." That is good news, both for your family members and for you. If anyone in your family has had a stroke, everyone in the family has a higher risk of having a stroke.
Have you had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
If you answered "yes." If you've already had a stroke, or strokelike symptoms that soon went away without permanent effects (TIA), then your risk of another stroke is high. Fortunately, recurrent strokes can often be prevented with lifestyle changes and by managing medical conditions that increase stroke risk.
If you answered "no." Count yourself fortunate—the risk of having a stroke is quite high if you've already had a stroke or TIA. Do all you can now to avoid a first stroke or TIA.
Do you have high blood pressure?
If you answered "yes." High blood pressure makes the heart work harder, weakens blood vessels, and damages the brain and other major organs. Untreated high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. Work closely with your doctor to get and keep your blood pressure in check.
If you answered "no." Congratulations! Continue regular blood pressure checks so that you and your doctor can make sure it stays in a healthy range.
I don't know. Because high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and other health problems, it's a good idea to know if yours is in a healthy range. Optimal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg. See your doctor for a blood pressure check soon.
Do you have atrial fibrillation?
If you answered "yes." This type of irregular heartbeat increases stroke risk by five times. Work with your doctor to get this condition under control.
If you answered "no." This type of irregular heartbeat increases stroke risk by five times.
Do you have unhealthy cholesterol levels?
If you answered "yes." Unhealthy cholesterol levels can increase stroke risk by blocking blood flow to the brain. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions for controlling your cholesterol.
If you answered "no." That's great news. Keep your cholesterol levels in check with a healthful diet and regular exercise, and ask your doctor how often you should have your cholesterol checked.
If you answered "I don't know." If you are 20 years old or older, you should have your cholesterol tested at least every five years. Unhealthy cholesterol levels don't usually cause symptoms, but they can contribute to a variety of health problems, including stroke.
Do you have diabetes?
If you answered "yes." Having diabetes means you're 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke. And people with diabetes often have other stroke risk factors. Team up with your doctor to make sure your diabetes is under control.
If you answered "no." Help keep diabetes at bay with healthy habits, such as exercising, eating right and maintaining a healthy weight.
Do you smoke?
If you answered "yes." Smoking leads to high blood pressure and speeds up the clogging of arteries. Overall, smoking doubles a person's stroke risk. Talk to your doctor for help quitting.
If you answered "no." You're doing your heart and blood vessels a big favor by not indulging in this bad habit. Smoking doubles the risk of stroke, so continue to shun tobacco.
Do you drink alcohol?
If you answered "yes." Heavy alcohol use—having more than one or two drinks a day—raises your risk of having a stroke, in part because it affects your blood pressure. Cutting back can reduce the risk.
If you answered "no." Good for you. Drinking alcohol can affect your health in a variety of ways, including raising your risk of stroke.
Are you obese?
If you answered "yes." Being overweight is putting a strain on your circulatory system. It also increases your chances of having other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Aim to eat a variety of healthy foods, and increase your activity levels to help get your weight to an optimal level.
If you answered "no." You're less likely to have a stroke than someone carrying extra weight.
If you answered "I don't know." To get an idea of whether you're at a healthy weight, check your body mass index.
Are you inactive?
If you answered "yes." Help reduce your risk of stroke by getting more exercise. Start slowly and try to work up to at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week. Be sure to get your doctor's OK before starting an exercise program if you haven't been active in a while or if you have any health issues that could be made worse by exercise.
If you answered "no, I exercise regularly." Keep it up! Being active decreases your risk for stroke. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week.
Based on the information you provided, you may have the following risks for stroke:
[factors listed depend on assessment answers]
Share the results of this test with your doctor, and be sure to get his or her insight on how to reduce your risk of stroke.
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, share your results with your doctor, and ask how you can reduce your risk of stroke.
If you answered "no" to all the questions, you don't appear to have any major risk factors for stroke. But remember, your risk may change over time. If you have any concerns about your health, talk to your doctor.
If you didn't know the answers to any of the questions, you should take the time to learn about them.
Not everyone who has a stroke has risk factors. It's a good idea to learn the symptoms of a stroke so that you can seek immediate medical attention if they occur.
Sources: American Diabetes Association; American Heart Association; American Stroke Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institutes of Health
During stroke, time lost is brain lost
A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is disrupted, either by a bleed or a clot. The longer a stroke continues, the more damage to brain. That's why it's said that during a stroke, time lost is brain lost.
Clots cause most strokes. For these, a drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can break up the clot and stop a stroke in its tracks—but the drug needs to be given within a certain window of time. Maui Memorial Medical Center has excellent door-to-treatment times when it comes to administering tPA to stroke patients.
We also offer treatment for all types of strokes using interventional radiology and neurosurgery.
All these treatments are time sensitive. It is very important to call 911 and get to the hospital as soon as stroke symptoms are recognized.
A team of skilled stroke doctors and other experts
Patients can expect excellent care from a multidisciplinary team of experts in the field of stroke care and stroke rehabilitation. The stroke treatment team might consist of:
- Vascular surgeons.
- Cardiothoracic specialists.
Our stroke team also includes specialists who will help with stroke recovery, including:
- Physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapists.
- Social workers.
- Care coordinators.
- Other clinical staff.
Know the signs of stroke
You can memorize the signs of stroke through the acronym BE FAST:
- Balance. Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
- Eyes. Is there sudden blurred vision or other vision trouble?
- Face. Ask the person to smile. Is one or both sides of the face drooping?
- Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one side drift downward?
- Speech. Does the person have slurred or garbled speech?
- Time. Time to call 911 for immediate help if you notice any of these signs.
Join our stroke support group
Maui Health's stroke support group provides education, encouragement and other helpful resources to people who are recovering from a stroke, as well as to their families and caregivers. Each meeting focuses on a different topic. Guest speakers provide additional expertise on stroke education and prevention.
Support group meetings are held every third Wednesday of the month at Maui Memorial Medical Center in the Nutrition Education room inside the cafeteria.
Complimentary valet parking is available at the main hospital entrance.
If you're an individual looking for stroke education or are a community group interested in partnering with Maui Health on a stroke education initiative, please complete a contact form or call the Stroke Program manager at 808.442.5255.