Dr. Evans explains if a woman should call 911 if she thinks she is having a stroke.
The consequences of being wrong if you are not having a stroke is transient and short and it’s a ride to the hospital. The consequences of being wrong if it is a stroke for you or for your loved one are devastating, and it really reminds me actually of a sort of unique couple that are a patient of mine, and the wife had had a small stroke herself and thankfully had recovered very well from it. She had a little bit of limp, but for the most part had really returned to all of her normal life.
And we had had a visit on Monday, and sort of as my standard routine when I am working with patients reminding them, you know, “What do you do if something happens again? If you get numb on half your body, if you get weak on half your body, if your vision suddenly changes?” And she had hesitated in her answer and she said, “Well, you know, maybe I would call my daughter.” And we really reminded, “No, the answer is to call 911.”
And at the time I thought I was doing her a service. What I didn’t realize is that she and I were both going to do her husband a service when three days later he suddenly had garbled speech and all of a sudden seemed like he really just could not express himself.
She immediately headed to the phone. He tried to actually stop her. He put his hand on her wrist to tell her to put the phone down and she pulled it away, dialed 911; he was brought to the hospital and thankfully, was at the door of the hospital about 25 minutes after his stroke symptoms started. And the faster somebody gets to the hospital, the better chance is that our medications and our treatments can stop, limit, or in some cases reverse the stroke, and he was one of the lucky ones who went completely back to normal, not one thing wrong with him.
And, you know, meeting with them afterwards, you know, she just was almost welling up in tears with, you know, the emotional import of not only knowing the right thing for herself, but then using that to make a difference in, you know, her loved one’s life. It was really awesome. So it’s a kind of thing that makes it good to remind us that the education we do is as important as anything else that we are doing when we are doctors.
About Dr. Evans, M.D.:
Dr. Evans joined the Neurosciences faculty in July 2005. Dr. Evans received a BS in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Southern California, and a MD from UCSD. After a year of Internal Medicine training at Loma Linda Medical Center, he returned to UCSD for his residency in neurology. He has received several awards for academic excellence during his training and was the 25th Anniversary Scholar for the UCSD School of Medicine. He was named the valedictorian of UCSD’s National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine’s class of 2006. He is a full-time clinical neurologist at the UCSD Neuroscience Center at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center.