What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood – and oxygen – it needs, so it starts to die.
A stroke can result in difficulties in moving around, performing daily activities, and talking or understanding. The type and extent of the difficulties depends on the size and location of the stroke.
A stroke patient’s greatest gains are usually made in the first 30 days following the stroke. Stroke rehabilitation consists of a coordinated treatment plan developed and implemented by specialized physicians, therapists and nurses.
Stroke rehabilitation programs, like that of MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital’s Stroke Center of Excellence, help patients adjust to the emotional and physical changes following stroke. With the goal of returning patients to independent living, therapy teams work to retrain the ability to perform daily tasks and move safely at home and in the community.
Stroke rehabilitation at MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital includes patient and family education, support groups, respiratory therapy, neuropsychology and a team of skilled therapists who use technology like the AutoAmbulator®, a robotic treadmill device that assists in replicating normal walking patterns; and VitalStim®, which electrically stimulates swallow function.
Where you go makes a difference
According to the recent adult stroke rehabilitation guidelines released by the American Heart Association*, whenever possible, stroke patients should be treated at an in-patient rehabilitation facility rather than a skilled nursing facility. While at an in-patient rehabilitation facility, a patient participates in at least three hours of rehabilitation a day from physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Nurses are continuously available and doctors typically visit daily. An in-patient rehabilitation facility may be a free-standing facility or a separate unit of a hospital.
Be prepared: know the signs
While a stroke can happen quickly, it is still important to understand a stroke’s warning signs to get medical help immediately (call 911). Every second counts, as time lost is brain lost. Stroke warning signs include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, or trouble with vision.
When it comes to stroke, know the warning signs and take immediate action. Better yet, learn more about preventative measures you can take before one happens. For more information or to schedule a stroke-risk assessment, call MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital at 913-491-2400.
MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital is a 98-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital that offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. Serving patients throughout the Kansas City area, the hospital is located at 5701 W. 110th Street,
Overland Park, Kansas 66211 and on the Web at
*Source: American Heart Association, Inc.