Stroke Unit

Main Hospital
1350 Walton Way
Augusta, GA 30901

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. When a stroke occurs, the care received during the first few days and weeks is crucial to long-term patient survival and rehabilitation.

Stroke Units are known to reduce hospitalization time, improve outcomes and save lives. So, in 2002, Piedmont Augusta opened its dedicated five-bed Stroke Unit, the only one of its kind in the area. The unit delivers the comprehensive care stroke patients need, from around-the-clock monitoring by trained neurological nurses, to a multidisciplinary treatment team that makes daily rounds, to early rehabilitative therapy that can reduce or reverse stroke damage.

Ideal patients for the unit are those who have had transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), mild to moderately severe strokes, and have rehabilitation potential.

Stroke units, like the one at Piedmont Augusta, are found to be more effective in reducing mortality and dependence after a stroke than other treatment settings. The smaller nurse-to-patient ratio means more focus on the rehabilitation and early mobilization of the patients. It also means more individual care and attention for the patients and their families.

Stroke Signs & Symptoms

Having a stroke is just as serious as having a heart attack, and the first few hours are critical. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t wait. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness, sudden trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Difficulty swallowing

Know the Risk Factors

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Gender. Men are at increased risk until age 55.
  • Race. African-Americans are more likely to have strokes.
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • A history of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also called mini-strokes
  • Elevated homocysteine levels

Follow These Preventive Guidelines

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Limit cholesterol and fat.
  • Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Limit sodium.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t use illegal drugs.
  • Control diabetes.
  • Have regular medical checkups.

The "Stroke Belt"

People living in the southeastern United States are more likely to die from stroke than Americans residing in other parts of the country. This area, known as the "Stroke Belt," includes three states -- North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia -- known as the "Stroke Buckle," which have the highest stroke mortality rates in the entire South. Researchers aren’t sure of the reason, but believe it may be related to our lifestyles, cooking methods and higher averages of risk factors.