ROCHESTER, Minn. - Medical experts are emphasizing the importance of seeking immediate care if you're experiencing symptoms of a stroke, even during a pandemic.
Mayo Clinic says strokes are the result of a disruption of blood supply to the brain, cutting off access to oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin dying within minutes, making prompt medical assistance vital to preventing neurological damage.
However Mayo Clinic doctors say they've seen several stroke patients hesitate before visiting a hospital during the pandemic because of concerns about exposure to COVID-19.
Dr. Micah Yost says hospitals have developed effective protocols to prevent coronavirus transmission, and anyone experiencing stroke symptoms should not delay getting to a hospital.
"We've been dealing with stroke working in the hospital over a year now during COVID, and we have measures in place to protect patients and to administer the necessary treatments in this setting," Dr. Yost said.
Dr. Kara Sands says physicians can prevent, treat, and beat a stroke, but only if they get to a patient in time.
<"If you're concerned that you or a loved one is having a stroke, don't think about it, don't google it, don't go take a nap, don't go finish watching the football game. Call 9-1-1. When it comes to stroke, it's okay to overreact," said Dr. Sands.
Experts say people of all ages can have a stroke, including those who are young and otherwise healthy. You can find more information about stroke symptoms and risk factors by clicking this link.