When Emergencies Involve the Brain
Neurological disorders are a serious health challenge faced by millions of Americans. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., with nearly 800,000 new cases occurring annually.
What Are Neurological Emergencies?
Neurological emergencies are health emergencies affecting the body’s nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, optic and olfactory nerves, and all the nerves outside the central system. Acute or sudden-onset neurological disorders are a major source of emergency-room visits.
There are a number of neurological conditions that may require emergency diagnosis and care:
- Stroke. Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is disrupted, either from a clot blocking blood flow to a portion of the brain or from bleeding into the brain tissue. Symptoms include drooping of one side of the face, weakness in arm and/or leg on one side of the body, difficulty with speaking or understanding speech, difficulty with balance, visual changes, sudden severe headache, and loss of consciousness.
- Sudden-onset severe headaches. Brain hemorrhaging, meningitis, or acute migraines may be responsible.
- Convulsions. Convulsions combine a loss of consciousness with pronounced muscle spasms. Convulsions are similar to epileptic seizures. Both are associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
- Fainting. Fainting is a sudden loss of consciousness. It can have several causes, including precipitous drops in blood pressure, renal or liver dysfunction, and epilepsy.
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a weakening of the limbs that occurs in the aftermath of a viral illness. Antibodies created during the illness attack nerve sheaths and fibers.
- Myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder that results in chronic fatigue and weakened muscles. Symptoms include double vision, difficulty in swallowing, and unsteady movement.
Quick response times are critical to the successful treatment of many neurological disorders. For example, during a stroke, brain cells are dying every minute. Waiting too long to seek treatment can lead to permanent disability or death, but quick emergency treatment can often stop damage from progressing, improving the odds of recovery.
Treating Neurological Conditions at Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville
Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville provides advanced care to treat the full spectrum of neurological disorders.
Our medical teams – skilled, compassionate, and among the best in the region – understand the personal cost of dealing with a neurological affliction. We take the time to understand your medical history and individual concerns, and make it a point to answer your questions. Then, utilizing our cutting-edge technology and care systems, we develop a plan to effectively treat your condition. Our goal at Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville is to improve your quality of life by giving you the hope you need to get better.
Be Prepared for a Medical Emergency
In any medical crisis, it’s best to be prepared. Make sure you program all emergency numbers into your cell phone or keep a list by your telephone at home. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1.