Dinwiddie TRIAD talks scams, strokes

The Dinwiddie TRIAD met last Tuesday to inform elder residents in the county of recent scams and stroke responses.

Deputy Tasha Ridley said people are still scamming. She most recently heard about residents receiving notifications that they will receive $2 million if they send $13.99, with an option to expedite the process for another $3.

“Please be mindful that the scams have not stopped,” Officer Ridley said. “With the summer coming around, people will be coming to you wanting to pave your driveways. Please, please, please, double and triple check before accepting any services. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Sheriff’s office. We will gladly come over and make sure these people are who they say they are.”

Randy Davis from the Virginia Attorney General’s office had news of recent Medicaid fraud. A Florida woman living in the New River Valley billed Medicaid for services she did not provide.

“She was sentenced last month in the U.S. District Court in the western district in Virginia in Roanoke on healthcare fraud charges,” Davis said.

The sentence for a guilty plea was two years probation, an $1,100 fine, a $100 special assessment, and repayment of $8,352 in restitution to the Department of Medical Assistance Services that runs Medicaid in Virginia. The Virginia Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates cases like this along with the FBI.

Judy Yoder, the HEALTHSOUTH marketing liaison, gave a power point presentation on responses to strokes. Yoder said that the first step to take if a stroke is suspected is to call 9-1-1 immediately.

“We have treatments now that will drastically reduce the effect of a stroke if administered in three hours of the stroke,” Yoder said.

Yoder has heard too many tales of strokes going unnoticed to a detriment to the patient. Yoder said ne case involved a patient in a nursing home that went almost an entire day untreated because staff in the home waited to consult a supervisor after hours. Yoder said this is unacceptable.

There is an acronym HEALTHSOUTH is promoting to help detect and report strokes in time to administer care that will drastically reduce effects of a stroke. F.A.S.T. is a double entendre that stresses not only the importance of timing in regards of reporting a stroke, but the indicators that a stroke has taken place.

F – Face drooping
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech Difficulty
T – Time to call 9-1-1

Yoder said that dialing 9-1-1 should be the first step, but admits TFAS makes for an awkward slogan.

Face drooping can be detected if you ask the suspected stroke victim to smile. If one side of the face is having trouble smiling, the chances are they are having a stroke.

Arm weakness can be detected by asking the victim to put both of their arms out. This would resemble the stance a diver might take before jumping, both arms raised and parallel. A victim of a stroke might be under the impression that their arms are level, but if one is higher or lower than the other, Yoder said there is need for immediate medical assistance.

Speech difficulty could be harder to detect. Yoder said some victims are capable of speech, but don’t quite make sense or are not quite themselves. In some cases speech difficulty is obvious, but paired with the smile and arm tests, a stroke can be detected.

The key thing to remember is speed. The chance of recovery is much greater within that three-hour window. HEALTHSOUTH offers an outpatient program to stroke victims with a focus on all aspects of recovery. A stroke can do permanent damage to mobility and speech. Yoder said dialing 9-1-1 immediately could be the difference that saves a life or promotes maximum recovery.

Featured Photo: Ben May/Dinwiddie Monitor
Deputy Tasha Ridley of the Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office speaks to Dinwiddie TRIAD last week.

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