Capital Health Starts Stroke Education in Hopewell Schools

February 18, 2011

Capital Health recently took its stroke education program to Hopewell Elementary School to help students there recognize the signs of stroke.

“It’s crucial for our students to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke and what causes it,” said David Friedrich, principal at Hopewell Elementary. “We appreciate Capital Health coming here to teach our third graders and look forward to future collaborations.”

As the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of disability in adults in the United States, strokes kill someone every 3 to 4 minutes and leaves up to 30 percent permanently disabled. However, death and disability from stroke can be prevented and reduced through early recognition of stroke symptoms and prompt treatment.

“Recent demographic trends suggest that young children may increasingly be the family member present during the onset of stroke,” said Dr. James Ware, medical director of the stroke program at Capital Health. “There has been a steady increase in the number of children living with their grandparents with an estimated 5.7 million grandparents living with their grandchildren in 2000. As a result, many children may be the person available to call 911 and contribute to a stroke victim’s early arrival at the emergency department.”


Mary Rosner, Capital Health Community Health Education nurse points out the signs and symptoms of stroke to third graders Henry McMahon and Natalie Eustis.

The major emphasis of the program is on the use of the acronym ‘FAST,’ which emphasizes four key stroke signs and symptoms and actions to take:

Face numbness or weakness, especially on one side (ask the individual to smile)

Arm numbness or weakness, especially on one side (ask the individual to raise both arms and hold this position for 10 seconds)

Speech slurring, or difficulty speaking or understanding (ask the individual to repeat a simple phrase, such as "the sky is blue in Cincinnati")

Time to call 911 if any of these symptoms occur suddenly, are accompanied by the loss of vision, the loss of balance, dizziness, or "the worst headache of your life."

The goal of the program is for children to know and recognize the symptoms of a stroke and call 911 immediately.

About Capital Health’s Commitment to Stroke Care

Capital Health Regional Medical Center is a state designated Comprehensive Stroke Center and both of the hospital’s campuses have received advanced certification in the area of stroke by the Joint Commission. The hospital system is also a recipient of the American Heart/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Award for excellence in stroke care.

As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and home to the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of NJ, Capital Health Regional Medical Center offers 24 hour a day/7 day a week advanced care for patients with strokes and other cerebrovascular emergencies. This includes inpatient neurosciences units for both intensive and intermediate care, neuro-imaging and laboratory services, advanced diagnostics including CT perfusion and cerebral angiography, the latest in neurosurgical techniques, and access to research in the area of neurovascular care.

Capital Health neurosurgeons are consistently among the first to trial investigational devices to treat cerebrovascular diseases including stroke. Recently, Capital Health became the first hospital in the country to use TREVO®, an investigational device used to remove blood clots in acute ischemic patients. Capital Health was also the first hospital in Southern/Central New Jersey and the Philadelphia region to treat a patient using Solitaire™, another experimental clot removal device.

About Capital Health

Capital Health is the region’s leader in advanced medicine, with significant investments in advanced technologies and experienced physicians. Comprised of the Mercer and Regional Medical Center hospitals in Trenton, N.J. and the Capital Health in Hamilton outpatient facility, Capital Health has twice received Magnet recognition for nursing excellence. Capital Health is a growing healthcare organization with construction underway for a new, state-of-the-art hospital in Hopewell Township, N.J. and significant expansion of services at its Regional Medical Center in Trenton, both scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2011.

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