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You Can Recognize a Stroke

On a quiet morning in late July, Lori Hoopingarner became disoriented and her speech was impaired. Her husband, a trained fire captain with Cal Fire, walked toward her, cell phone in hand already dialing 911. Lori was having a stroke. She did not recognize the symptoms, but her husband Darren did. She arrived at the Temecula Valley Hospital Emergency Department within minutes. The Stroke Team was ready.

Being an Advanced Primary Stroke Center means that a dedicated team of trained professionals is ready to diagnose and treat a stroke patient quickly and effectively. Lori is 41 years old and in great physical shape, however after a complete neurological evaluation, a Middle Cerebral Artery (MCA) clot was found that need to be removed immediately. The clot busting drug tPA was administered to help dissolve part of the obstruction and prepare Lori for the needed surgery to remove the rest. Within hours of onset of symptoms Lori was treated and the clot had been removed.

We all do not have a firefighter husband, but we can act quickly by learning the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Temecula Valley Hospital encourages you to B.E. F.A.S.T.

  • B = Balance – Is the person dizzy or off balance?
  • E = Eyes – Is their vision blurred or doubled?
  • F = Face – Ask the person to smile; can you see the same number of teeth on each side? Is the face numb or tingly?  Does it droop?
  • A = Arms – Can they hold both arms up for 10 seconds?
  • S = Speech – It is slurred? Is their speech appropriate?
  • T = Time – Call 911 immediately

By calling 911 immediately, the stroke team is ready and waiting in the Emergency Department because EMS calls to let them know you are on your way, speeding up the process. Stroke is time sensitive and can only be treated within the first four and a half hours of symptom onset. Most importantly TIME is brain cells.

Learn the signs and symptoms of stroke, it could mean the difference between life or death and improve the quality of life of a family member or friend. Lori will tell you that stroke patients do not always recognize they are having a stroke. Thanks to the teamwork of EMS, the Emergency Department, and speciality trained physicians, she got the treatment she needed quickly and has recovered fully from her stroke. To learn more about strokes visit our website

Temecula Valley Hospital brings advanced technology, innovative programs, patient-centered and family sensitive care to area residents. The hospital features private patient rooms, 24 hour a day emergency care, advanced cardiac care, stroke care, orthopedics, general medical care, and surgical specialties.