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Janelle Schroeder, MSN, RN, SCRN

Stroke Coordinator

Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. When a stroke occurs, brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because they stop getting oxygen and nutrients they need to function. There are two types of stroke: ischemic – due to lack of blood flow, and hemorrhagic – due to bleeding in the brain.

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

A stroke is a medical emergency. When a stroke occurs, it is critical for healthcare providers to intervene as quickly as possible to stop the progression, limit damage, and increase chances for recovery. The phrase "time is brain" emphasizes that time is of the essence, because lost time equals lost brain cells.

Symptoms of stroke may include:

  • Facial muscle weakness, facial droop, or numbness
  • Arm and/or leg weakness or numbness, or a sudden onset of numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Difficulty walking, paralysis with weak muscles, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, over reactive reflexes, or paralysis of one side of the body
  • Sensory issues such as pins or needles or reduced sensation of touch
  • Difficulty speaking, slurred speech, speech loss, or inability to understand speech
  • Blurred vision, double vision, sudden visual loss, or temporary loss of vision in one eye
  • Balance issues, dizziness, fatigue, or lightheadedness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sudden severe headaches and/or mental confusion

Knowing the warning signs of a stroke can help save lives. B.E.F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember how to identify and respond if you suspect someone is having a stroke:

Regional West Stroke Support Group

For people who have experienced stroke and their caregivers, Regional West’s support group fosters physical and emotional healing after a stroke. The support group provides support, socialization, and education on topics relevant to stroke recovery. Support group is held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in Medical Plaza South, Room 1202.

For more information, contact:

Gene McDowell, PT, MHS, DPT
Acute Rehab Unit Stroke Clinical Coordinator
Acute Rehab Unit, 308-630-1440

Janelle Schroeder, MSN, RN, SCRN
Stroke Program Coordinator 


For more information on stroke:

American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Nebraska Stroke Association

Founded in 1985, the Nebraska Stroke Association is one of the nation’s earliest nonprofit organizations focused on stroke prevention. The association is a statewide resource for Nebraskans and helps reduce the impact of stroke and enhance the lives of stroke survivors and caregivers. All services are provided at no charge.

National Aphasia Association

The National Aphasia Association (NAA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 by Martha Taylor Sarno, MA, MD(hon), as the first national organization dedicated to advocating for persons with aphasia and their families. The NAA provides access to research, education, rehabilitation, therapeutic, and advocacy services for individuals with aphasia and their caregivers.