Stroke takes place when the supply of blood to the brain is either interrupted or reduced. When this occurs, the brain does not get appropriate amounts of oxygen or nutrients, which can cause brain cells to die. The swiftness in which this happens is what makes a stroke very serious and even life-threatening. There are three main kinds of stroke—ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also referred to as mini-strokes.
Stroke Awareness Month is part of a nationwide program run by the National Stroke Association. The purpose of this health month is to educate Americans about stroke prevention and awareness, as well as support stroke survivors. Knowing what to do if someone is experiencing a stroke, and understanding risk factors, symptoms and prevention, are critical to raising stroke awareness.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking are all stroke risk factors that can be controlled with medication and lifestyle changes. Strokes happen quickly, and oftentimes signs and symptoms appear without warning. Confusion, difficulty communicating, problems with eyesight, coordination, balance and numbness of the face, arms or legs, particularly on one side of the body, are all signs of a stroke.
The following acronym is a helpful way to remember and recognize the signs of a stroke…
Face—does one side of the face droop when the person smiles?
Arm—is the person able to raise both arms?
Speech—is the person’s speech slurred or sounds abnormal?
Time—if any of these warning signs are present, call 911 immediately.
Stroke Awareness Month is also a time to acknowledge stroke survivors and how various organizations like the National Stroke Association show support. For a stroke survivor, recovery is a lifelong journey. Strokes affect everyone differently, and in many cases it can take survivors months, if not years, to recover. Lifestyle changes and rehabilitation are required. To learn more about Care Advantage’s Stroke Program, or for information on post-stroke rehab, contact us today.
- Approximately 750,000 people experience a stroke each year, about one person every 4 seconds.
- One person dies of a stroke every 4 minutes.
- Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death, and a primary cause of adult disability.