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Stroke

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.

Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center can help you and your loved one overcome disability and rediscover a satisfactory, productive lifestyle within the limits imposed by the stroke.

Many of the patients at Patricia Neal are people who have survived a stroke or Cerebral Vascular Attack (CVA).

They are treated by a holistic team approach which includes the patient and family members. A team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, rehab psychologists (behavioral medicine), nursing staff, case managers, recreation therapists and physiatrists (rehab physician) make up the treatment team. The staff has extensive experience and training in the treatment of stroke.

Treatment is an active process with both patient and family involved in goal setting, therapy and education. Aspects of the programs include interdisciplinary therapy training in range of motion, strengthening and conditioning exercise, training in self-care and daily living skills, in ambulating and mobility, in homemaking, retraining in speech, language, and swallowing, monitoring medications, cognitive perceptual training, bowel and bladder retraining, leisure/recreation evaluations, psychological evaluations, and coordinated discharge planning. Other aspects include identification and management of risk factors to help prevent future strokes.

Special features of our Stroke Program are:

  • Nursing and therapy staff have extensive experience and training
  • Close medical supervision by the rehab physicians as well as access to hundreds of medical specialists located in Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center
  • Intensive therapy primarily during one-on-one treatment sessions
  • Psychological services (Behavioral Medicine) to assist with coping after a stroke
  • State of the art equipment
  • Rooftop Therapy garden
  • Driving readiness assessment tools including the Dynavision Visual-motor Assessment and Brake Reaction Test
  • Peer support program to meet with patients during their stay, providing personable rehab experiences
  • Seating and mobility clinic which specializes in wheelchair needs as appropriate to enable appropriate wheelchair recommendations

Many stroke patients will require follow-up therapies after their discharge from inpatient care. These follow-up therapies could include visits from a Home Health care provider, Outpatient clinic appointments, and community wide support group gatherings.

The Stroke Support Group meets the 4th Tuesday of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm. Contact Wendy Callahan at (865) 331-2364 for more information.

Recognizing and Preventing Strokes

Warning Signs

Use the FAST test to remember signs of a stroke

F = Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = Arms Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = Speech Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does it sound strange or slurred?
T = Time If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately

Stroke Prevention Guidelines

  • Know your blood pressure – High blood pressure is a major stroke risk if left untreated
  • Identify atrial fibrillation (Afib) – an abnormal heartbeat that increases stroke risk by 500%
  • Stop smoking – smoking doubles your risk of stroke
  • Control alcohol use – alcohol has been linked to stroke in many studies
  • Know cholesterol levels – High cholesterol can clog arteries and cause a stroke
  • Control diabetes
  • Manage exercise and diet
  • Treat circulation problems – blocked arteries can lead to a stroke
  • Act FAST