MARTINEZ (CBS SF) – Stroke victims in the East Bay will now have a greater chance of survival with the introduction of a new system of care designed specifically for those who suffer the debilitating effects of a stroke.

Primary stroke-certified hospitals in Contra Costa County are now part of the new Contra Costa County Stroke System. There are less than a dozen such systems in California.

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KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Emergency medical providers at seven medical facilities in the county have all gone through the training to help and treat stroke victims as quickly as possible.

“Time equals brain function,” said Mia Fairbanks, the Contra Costa Stroke Program Coordinator. “So getting these patients to the hospitals as quickly as possible, utilizing 911, not driving yourself and more importantly, knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can get these patients treatment.”

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Fairbanks said there are several things to be on the lookout for potential stroke victims.

“Weakness on one side of the body, trouble walking, trouble speaking, trouble seeing,” she said. “Headaches can also be a symptom as well.”

She said it’s critical that patients receive treatment within a four-hour window to reduce the risk of permanent disability or possibly even death.

There are about 1,000 suspected stroke cases each year in Contra Costa County.

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