For Immediate Release July 18, 2023

Jonatan Hornik, MD, a neurologist in the SIH Brain and Spine Institute, spoke to members of SIH Second Act to help them understand neurological emergencies.

The most common neurological emergency is an ischemic stroke which are caused by a lack of blood to the brain.

"The soonest you realize that there's a problem the better, and the earliest you get to the hospital the better," Dr. Hornik said.

Dr. Hornik encourages people to remember the B.E.F.A.S.T acronym when it comes to signs of stroke. 

  • B’ is for balance (sudden onset changes in your ability to stay balanced)
  • ‘E’ is for eyesight (sudden onset changes in your vision)
  • ‘F’ is for face (facial asymmetry, sudden onset of facial drooping is concerning)
  • ‘A’ is for arms (it also goes for the legs--sudden onset weakness of one-sided limbs)
  • ‘S’ is for speech (sudden onset issues with understanding or making yourself understood)
  • ‘T’ is for time (time to call 911)

While stroke is the most common neurological emergency--seizures are the second most common. Dr. Hornik shared actions steps if a person witnesses a seizure: Stay with the person. Keep them safe and turn the person on their side if they aren't awake. 

He also touched on other neurological emergencies such as:

  • Thunderclap headaches
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Spinal abscess 

MORE COVERAGE: Second Act hosts third installment of their 9-1-1 Emergency Series (From The Southern Illinoisan)

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: When to Call 911: Falls and When to Call 911: Cardiac