Many of us know someone who has experienced or been affected by stroke, and during National Stroke Awareness Month, we are going to take the opportunity to honor stroke survivors and raise our awareness about warning signs, risk factors, and prevention.
What Is Stroke?
Stroke occurs when an artery that supplies blood to the brain is either blocked or bursts, depriving part of the brain from vital blood and oxygen and causing brain cells to die. When a stroke damages part of the brain, that area may no longer work as well as it did before the stroke. This can cause problems with walking, speaking, seeing or feeling.
Facts About Stroke
- A stroke occurs every 40 seconds – that’s 795,000 strokes every year
- It is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Can cause permanent brain damage, serious, long-term disability and death
- Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke
Recognizing Stroke Symptoms
Watch for these stroke warning signs:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Acting FAST can reduce long-term disability or even save a life.
FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
TIME: If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 911 immediately.
Stroke is an emergency. If you experience any of these symptoms or see them in someone else, call 911.
Stay tuned to the Angel MedFlight blog as we explore stroke risk factors, prevention and recovery this month.
To learn more about stroke, visit the National Stroke Association website.