April 2015 is Stroke Awareness month.
- About 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds.
- Stroke kills more than 137,000 people a year. That’s about 1 of every 18 deaths. It’s the No. 4 cause of death.
- On average, every 4 minutes someone dies of stroke.
- About 40 percent of stroke deaths occur in males, and 60 percent in females.
- Americans will pay about $73.7 billion in 2010 for stroke-related medical costs and disability.
What is Stroke?
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.
When someone has shown symptoms of a stroke or a TIA (transient ischemic attack), they require immediate medical attention. The faster medical attention is given – the faster the recovery time is for the patient.
Become a stroke hero and learn the signs:
Think F.A.S.T. – THINK YOU ARE HAVING A STROKE? CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:
F Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
A Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
For more information on this subject, please visit the Stroke Association website.