Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS), working in partnership with the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network, urges local residents to pay close attention to the signs of stroke, and if recognized, call 911 immediately to be transported to a designated Stroke Centre.

Approximately 50 per cent of people who think they are having a stroke are making a grave mistake by driving themselves, or have someone else drive them, to the nearest emergency department instead of calling 911 – a choice that could impact their outcomes.

“Stroke is a medical emergency and treatment works best the sooner that a patient arrives at the Stroke Centre emergency department,” said Joan Ruston-Berge, GBHS, Manager, Rehab & Stroke. “When you call 911, paramedics will not only ensure transportation is provided to the right hospital in the shortest amount of time, but they will also notify the Stroke Centre so that the team is prepared and ready to act fast from the moment the patient comes through the doors.”

In 2015, GBHS was designated as one of four District Stroke Centres in Southwestern Ontario and has since treated approximately 234 patients in the Grey Bruce region. This designation is part of a realignment plan approved by the South West Local Health Integration Network, which set out to centralize and improve stroke care.

The Southwestern Stroke Network has released a series of videos which reinforce the importance of calling 911 when signs of stroke emerge. Stroke patients and people at risk of stroke achieve the best outcomes if they are treated by practitioners with stroke expertise and experience. The videos can be accessed at: http://swostroke.ca/fast-videos/.

Information on the GBHS Stroke Centre can be found at: www.gbhs.on.ca/programs.php?pgid=132

Media contact:
Nicole Schmidt, Communications Coordinator, Grey Bruce Health Services, 519-376-2121 ext. 2805, nischmidt@gbhs.on.ca, www.gbhs.on.ca