The Stroke Center

Watauga Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™
for certification as a Primary Stroke Center.


Did you know?

  • Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, killing over 133,000 people each year.
  • Estimated 7,000,000 stroke survivors in the U.S.
  • Approx. 795,000 strokes will occur this year, one every 40 seconds.
  • Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age.
  • Approx. 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
  • Two million brain cells die every min- ute during a stroke.
  • Women are twice as likely to die from stroke than breast cancer annually.
  • Estimated cost of stroke in the U.S. per year is $73.7 billion.
  • Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability.
  • African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke.

What is a stroke?

  • A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.
  • Brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. 
  • Abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost, i.e. speech, movement and memory.
  • How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.


Is it a stroke? Check these signs FAST!


If you are concerned that you may be experiencing a stroke, call 9-1-1.
Getting treatment FAST can prevent disability and increase your chances of survival.
Common stroke symptoms include:
  • - Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • - Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • - Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • - Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • - Sudden severe headache with no known cause.