Community Outreach


What is A Stroke?

 A stroke is a “brain attack”. It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.

How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

Stroke By The Numbers

  • Each year nearly 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
  • A stroke happens every 40 seconds.
  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Every 4 minutes someone dies from stroke.
  • Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

A brain aneurysm burst or a weakened blood vessel leak (hemorrhagic) is one of two types of stroke.  While the least common of the two types of stroke it most often results in death.


A blood vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot (ischemic) is one type of stroke. Learn more about the types of ischemic stroke.

When blood flow to part of the brain stops for a short period of time, also called transient ischemic attack (TIA), it can mimic stroke-like symptoms. These appear and last less than 24 hours before disappearing.  Learn more about the signs, your risk, and TIA management.

Although stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability, many myths surround this disease. Test how much you know about stroke today

Winter Weather Safety

On average, weather-related vehicle crashes kill 6,253 people and injure more than 480,000 each year, according to the Department of Transportation. Most of these accidents occur when the roadways are wet, snowy or icy. When the weather takes a turn for the worse this winter, take precautions if you have to be out on the roadways. Whether there is a coating of snow or ice on the roadways, or the asphalt just looks wet, SLOW DOWN! If the temperature is near freezing, drive like you’re on ice – you may be!

While dangerous road conditions are one of the most deadly hazards during winter, it’s not the only threat you may encounter. Other winter hazards include brutal cold, heavy snow and ice, dangerous flooding, extreme wind, and treacherous fog.

Nobody knows more about these weather hazards than NOAA’s National Weather Service. Here is what we recommend you do this winter:

  1. Know Your Risk
  • Check every morning before you leave home. It may be sunny in the morning but snowing in the afternoon. Be prepared.
  1. Take Action!
  • Prepare for an emergency. Write a family communications plan so that everyone in your life knows how to stay in touch. Also, assemble an emergency supplies kit for your home. Make sure you have 72 hours of food, water and other necessary supplies in your kit.
  • During a snow emergency, stay off the roads to allow emergency crews uninterrupted access to treat the roads, and if you must travel, allow extra time. Follow to get the latest forecast information and expected conditions.
  1. Be A Force of Nature
  • You’re an inspiration. Let people know that you have an emergency supplies kit and family communications plan – doing so will inspire others to action. Share your preparedness story on social media. Help the National Weather Service build a Weather-Ready Nation.

Safety and Health Information for Workers and Employers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources for workplace preparedness and response to severe weather emergencies during the winter, including: floods and winter weather. Employers must ensure that workers involved in response and recovery are protected from potential safety and health hazards. OSHA also provides information and resources to assist in these efforts. OSHA and NOAA encourage workers and employers to be aware of weather forecasts, train workers on severe weather plans, and keep emergency supplies, including a battery-operated weather radio, on hand to be better prepared when severe weather strikes.

Get to Know NOAA

NOAA’s National Weather Service provides weather, water, and climate data and forecasts and warnings to protect life and property and enhance the national economy. Our goal is a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is prepared for and responds to weather-dependent events.

Here’s what we’re doing to prepare the public for winter weather hazards:

For More Information

Make sure that you’re prepared for winter weather hazards by following NWS on Twitter and Facebook. Get the latest forecasts and learn more about weather preparedness.


Courtesy of NOAA

Save a Life! Donate Blood Today!

To see upcoming blood drives near Waynesboro CLICK HERE!

Donating blood is a simple and relatively painless procedure that can help save lives.

According to the American Association of Blood Banks, eight million volunteerdonors donate the 14 million pints of blood used in the United States each year. The blood is used to help a variety of people. Donated blood can help restore a person’s blood volume after surgery, accident, or childbirth, improvethe immunity of a patient suffering from cancer or leukemia and other diseases, and improve the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

Sometimes the donated blood is used as whole blood; that is, the blood from a donor is administered in its entirety to the recipient. In other cases, the blood is separated into its components (platelets, plasma, red and white cells, and clotting factors), and administered to a patient in need of that specific component.

There is no risk of contracting disease if you donate blood, because new, sterile equipment is used for each donor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administrationhas stringent regulations concerning how blood can be collected, stored and transported, and other organizations, such as the AABB and the American Red Cross, have additional procedures to safeguard both donors and the collected blood.

To protect the nation’s blood supply (and blood recipients), each donor is carefully screened to make sure he or she is in good health. At the donation center, a donor will be asked his or her name and address, and this informationwill be verified. His or her pulse, temperature and blood pressure are taken. The donor is asked if he or she has ever had a condition that might disqualify him or her as a donor; for example, hepatitis, malaria, heart disease, AIDS and most forms of cancer would make someone unsuitable as a donor. If a person’s blood pressure is too high or too low, if she is pregnant, or if he orshe has had major surgery recently, he or she will be asked to wait some time before donating.

After the screening, the donor is seated in a special reclining chair or liesdown on a table. The person drawing the blood wraps a tourniquet around thedonor’s upper arm; by restricting the flow of blood returning from the hand to the heart, the veins become more prominent and easier to find. The person drawing the blood inserts a needle into the vein. The needle is attached to acollection bag. The donor then lies still and quietly while the blood is collected, which takes only about 10 minutes.

When the unit, or pint, of blood is collected, the needle is removed and an adhesive bandage placed over the spot where the needle had been inserted. Thedonor is asked to lie still for a few more moments, and then offered fruit juice and perhaps cookies to replenish him or herself. Sometimes donating bloodcan cause lightheadedness, and it’s important to not move too quickly or else dizziness can occur.

The whole procedure takes about an hour.

The donated blood is sealed in a special plastic bag that contains substancesthat will keep it from clotting (anticoagulants) and will preserve it. Refrigerated, whole blood is useable for 42 days. Blood components, however, can be preserved for much longer–in the case of red blood cells, up to 10 years,if frozen.

A sample of the donated blood is taken for testing. It is checked for infections diseases like AIDS and syphillis, for anemia, and, if the blood type is not already known, for blood typing. Human blood falls into three major groups, A, B, and O; the types get their names from certain molecules found on thesurface of the red blood cells. If a person receives a donation of an incompatible blood type, the blood cells can clump together, a dangerous and possibly fatal situation. Type O blood can be received by persons with A, B, or AB blood (which is why type O is sometimes called the “universal donor”), but a person with Type O blood can only Type O blood. It is also important to matchthe Rh factor of the blood, which can be positive or negative.

Anyone in good health can donate blood. It is generally recommended that thedonor be over age 17 (although some states allow younger persons to donate, with their parent’s permission) and weigh at least 110 pounds. The donor’s body will replenish the donated blood quickly. However, it’s best to not give blood than once every two months.

There are several special donation procedures. Persons who are expecting to undergo surgery may opt to donate several pints of their own blood, which is stored and given back to them during the surgery. This is called an autologustranfusion.

A donor may give only a specified component of the blood, which is extracted by machine from the donated blood before the donated blood is returned to the donor’s body. This is a procedure called apheresis. In addition, a patient’s family members can donate blood specifically for the patient (as long as their blood type and Rh factors are compatible). This is called a designated or direct donation.

Read more:

Heart Attack

What is a heart attack?

Your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely (View an animation of blood flow). This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. This slow process is known as atherosclerosis. When a plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is starved for oxygen and nutrients, it is called ischemia. When damage or death of part of the heart muscle occurs as a result of ischemia, it is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI). About every 43 seconds, someone in the United States has a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Why didn’t I have any warning?

The process of Atherosclerosis has no symptoms. One reason there may be no warning signs is that sometimes when a coronary artery becomes narrowed, other nearby vessels that also bring blood to the heart sometimes expand to help compensate. The network of expanded vessels is called collateral circulation and helps protect some people from heart attacks by getting needed blood to the heart. Collateral circulation can also develop after a heart attack to help the heart muscle recover.

What are other medical terms for “Heart Attack?”

Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) – An umbrella term for situations where the blood supplied to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked.

STEMI – A common name for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage in a coronary artery.

NSTEMI – A non-ST-elevated myocardial infarction, a type of heart attack in which an artery is partially blocked and severely reducing blood flow.

Myocardial infarction
– The damaging or death of an area of the heart muscle (myocardium) resulting from a blocked blood supply to that area; medical term for a heart attack.

Coronary thrombosis – Formation of a clot in one of the arteries that conduct blood to the heart muscle. Also called coronary occlusion.

Coronary occlusion – An obstruction of a coronary artery that hinders blood flow to some part of the heart muscle. A cause of heart attack.

I think I am having a heart attack, what should I do?

If at anytime you suspect you, or someone you know, is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately! If you are in the City of Waynesboro, the Emergency Medical Dispatcher will give you instructions on what to do next until an ambulance arrives.

Back to School Safety

Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road

  • School days bring congestion: Yellow school buses are picking up their charges, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

    It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.


    If You’re Dropping Off


    Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:


    • Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
    • Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
    • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school


    Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians


    According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:


    • Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
    • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
    • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
    • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
    • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
    • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
    • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way


    Sharing the Road with School Buses


    If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.


    • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
    • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
    • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
    • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks


    Sharing the Road with Bicyclists


    On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

    • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
    • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
    • If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
    • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
    • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
    • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
    • Check side mirrors before opening your door


    By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.


Move Over!

Image result for virginia move overVirginia’s traffic laws are similar to those in other states: 

  • Buckle up
  • Obey speed limits
  • Drive alcohol- and drug-free
  • Share the road
  • Avoid distractions
  • Don’t text and drive

Virginia has two laws to keep vehicles moving safely and smoothly around traffic incidents – Move Over and Move It.

Virginia’s ‘Move Over’ Law

Virginia law (§ 46.2-921.1) states that “upon approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating blue, red or amber light or lights,” drivers shall:

  • “On a highway having at least four lanes, at least two of which are intended for traffic proceeding as the approaching vehicle, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, yield the right of way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle or,
  • “If changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.”

A single violation of the “Move Over” law is punishable as a traffic infraction.  Subsequent violations may be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Image result for emergency scene on highway

Virginia’s ‘Move It’ Law

If you’re in a fender bender with no injuries and you can move your vehicle from the travel lanes, do so. It’s the law.

When you leave your vehicle on the road after a crash, you add to traffic back-ups, which may cause other more serious crashes in terms of property damage and personal injury.

Virginia’s “Move It” law (§ 46.2-888) states, If the driver is capable of safely doing so and the vehicle is movable, (you) may move the vehicle from the roadway to prevent obstructing the regular flow of traffic.”

The law adds that moving your vehicle does not relieve law-enforcement officers of their duty to file a report of the accident.

If You Are In A Crash

Check for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.

If no one is injured, and traffic is blocked, move the vehicles to the nearest safe location, then call 911.

Notify law enforcement when:

  • There are injuries or fatalities
  • Vehicles can’t be moved
  • One of the drivers appears to be intoxicated
  • Damage exceeds $1,500
  • One of the drivers has no insurance
  • One of the drivers leaves the crash scene

Warn oncoming traffic to prevent other crashes. Raise your hood or use flares. 

If you need help:

  • Tie a white handkerchief to your antenna or door.
  • Wave a red flag.
  • Use a flashlight at night.

Don’t become a pedestrian fatality on the highway. Be patient while waiting for help.

 If you must leave your car, keep away from traffic and walk on the right side of the road. 

Crossing a highway or trying to stop traffic is dangerous, especially at night or when visibility is low.

Exchange information. Everyone involved in a crash should share:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Vehicle make/model/year
  • Insurance information

When calling 911 to report an accident, give an exact description of the crash location:

  • Routes
  • Streets
  • City or county
  • Distance to nearest landmark (exit number, mile marker, bridge, intersection, etc.).

From the Code of Virginia § 46.2-894:

Duty of driver to stop, etc., in event of accident involving injury or death or damage to attended property: The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic, and report his name, address, driver’s license number and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency, to the person struck and injured if such person appears to be capable of understanding and retaining the information, or to the driver or some other occupant of the vehicle collided with or to the custodian of other damaged property.