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8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease Program

Stroke & Cerebrovascular Care in Northern Virginia

Stroke Symptoms: Learn the Signs and Save a Life

When it comes to Recognizing a Stroke, BE FAST - Remembering B.E.F.A.S.T as a tool to recognize a stroke can help you save a person's life.   

  • B = Balance – Is the person suddenly having trouble with balance or coordination?
  • E = Eyes – Is the person experiencing blurred or double vision or a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes?
  • F = Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? 
  • A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T = Time – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately. 

Strokes cause about one out of every 19 deaths in the U.S. each year, making it the third leading cause of death for women and the fourth leading cause of death for men. Remembering B.E.F.A.S.T. can help save a life or a person’s quality of life!

Why Is It so Important to Call 911 If Someone Is Having a Stroke?

"Time is brain," points out Laura Buhler, RN, facilitator of Inova's stroke support group at Inova Fairfax Hospital. "It's important to seek medical care with the very first signs of stroke symptoms,” Buhler says. "We can administer tPA, but only within the first three hours of stroke onset – or up to four and a half hours in certain patients. A mechanical thrombectomy may be beneficial within six hours of stroke onset or, for some patients under certain conditions, up to 24 hours of onset."

Inova Provides Life-Saving Treatments for Stroke and Other Cerebrovascular Diseases

Any interference with blood flow to our brain is a life-threatening cerebrovascular condition. Stroke is one of the most commonly known types of cerebrovascular disease and claims the lives of thousands of Americans every year – nearly one person every 40 seconds.

Fortunately, the specialists in the Inova Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease Program, teamed with Inova's award-winning hospitals for stroke care, have the expertise to effectively diagnose and treat stroke and other vascular conditions.

Joint Commission Designated Stroke Centers

Inova Alexandria Hospital is a Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center (TCS). This designation certifies that Inova Alexandria meets the rigorous standards for performing endovascular thrombectomy (EVT). Inova Alexandria was the fourth hospital in the country to receive this new advanced stroke certification from the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, Inova Loudoun Hospital and Inova Mount Vernon Hospital have all earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for stroke care and have been designated as Primary Stroke Centers. This certification by The Joint Commission recognizes facilities that make exceptional efforts to meet the unique needs of stroke patients and foster better outcomes for stroke care.

Inova's extensive diagnostic and treatment options include sophisticated minimally invasive technology and advanced imaging performed by our skilled interventional neuroradiolgists and endovascular surgeons. Post treatment, Inova's comprehensive and regionally recognized rehabilitation programs further recovery and help patients return to normal activities.

Learn more about Inova and Joint Commission Accreditation

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