Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults.
Up to 80% of Strokes in the U.S. are preventable!
Every 40 seconds, someone in the U. S. has a stroke. Every 4 minutes a person dies of a stroke.
140,000 Americans each year die from a stroke. That is 1 out of 20 deaths are from a stroke!
Nearly 1 out of 4 strokes are in people who have had a previous stroke.
Strokes vary with race and ethnicity. Stroke risk is nearly twice as high for African-American adults compared to Caucasian adults.
An estimated $34 billion each year is spent on stroke health care services, medications to treat strokes and missed days of work.
To understand a stroke, it helps to understand the brain. The brain controls our movements, stores our memories, and is the source of our thoughts, emotions, and language. The brain also controls many functions of the body, like breathing and digestion.
The Brain needs oxygen to function!
Early action is important for survival of stroke.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is sometimes called a brain attack and happens when the blood flow is blocked. Brain cells start to die within minutes because they cannot get oxygen.
There are 3 types of strokes:
1. Ischemic stroke happens when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels to the brain. Fatty deposits called plaque can also cause blockages by building up in the blood vessels.
87% of all strokes are Ischemic Strokes.
2. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them.
3. TIA or a mini stroke is different from the major types of stroke because blood flow to the brain is blocked for only a short time-usually no more than 5 minutes.
It is important to know that:
• A TIA is a warning sign of a future stroke.
• A TIA is a medical emergency, just like a major stroke.
• Strokes and TIAs require emergency care. Call 9-1-1- right away if you feel signs of a stroke or see symptoms in someone around you.
• There is not way to know in the beginning whether symptoms are from a TIA or from a major type of stroke.
• More than a third of people who have TIA and don’t get treatment have a major stroke within 1 year. As many as 10% of people will have a major stroke within 3 months of a TIA.
What are the signs or symptoms of a stroke?
• Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg especially on one side of the body.
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination.
• Sudden or severe headache with no known cause.
What are the risks for a Stroke?
• Elevated cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Excessive alcohol use
• Smoking tobacco
• Family genetics
• Ethnicity- African-American women are more likely to have a stroke than any other group of women in the U.S.
How is a stroke treated?
LEARN THE SIGNS: F.A.S.T.
F-Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A-Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one side of the face droop?
S- Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
T- Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.
When someone is having a stroke, every single minute counts. Acting F.A.S.T. can help stroke patients get the treatments they need. The stroke treatments that work best are only available in the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within 3 hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for the best treatment if they do not arrive at the hospital in time.
Medicine, surgery or other procedures may be needed to stop the bleeding and save brain tissue. The most important thing to remember is: when in doubt get it checked out!
How can I prevent a stroke?
Up to 80% of strokes in the U.S. are PREVENTABLE!
• Healthy Diet- choosing healthy meal and snack options with fresh fruits and vegetables can help prevent stroke. Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt in you diet can also lower your blood pressure.
• Healthy Weight- Being overweight increases your risk for stroke.
• Physical activity- can help stay at a healthy weight and lower hour cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Adults should get 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise a week and children and teens need one hour of exercise a day.
• Do not smoke tobacco-Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for a stroke. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
• Limit alcohol- Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise hour blood pressure. Men should have no more than e drinks per day and women only one.
• Check cholesterol- your doctor should check your cholesterol levels at your regular appointments.
• Control blood pressure-Be sure to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. You can check your blood pressure at home, pharmacy or at any of Hope for All’s free health screening events. Check website for our next health screening location.
• Control diabetes-Consult your doctor for your diabetic plan of care.
• Take your medicine as ordered by your doctor. Ask questions if you do not understand something and never stop taking your medication without first talking to your doctor.
• Work with your health care team. Bring your list of all your appointments to your primary care team so all your providers can work together.
• Treat heart disease-see your doctor of all your follow up appointments.
• Reduce stress in your life.
Recovering from a stroke
Recovery time after a stroke is different for everyone-it can take weeks, months, or even years. Some recover fully, but others have long-term or lifelong disabilities.
You can make great progress in regaining your independence after a stroke, but some problems may continue:
• Paralysis, weakness or both on one side of the body.
• Trouble with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment and memory
• Problems understanding or forming speech.
• Trouble controlling or expressing emotions.
• Numbness or strange sensations.
• Pain in the hands and feet that worsens with movement and temperature changes.
• Trouble with chewing and swallowing.
• Problems with bladder and bowel control.
• Stroke rehabilitation can include working with speech, physical and occupational therapist as well as specialized nursing and physician care.
• Patient support groups are available in the community. Support from family and friends can also help relieve fear and anxiety following a stroke.
Fact: If you have had a stroke you are at high risk for another stroke:
• One in four strokes each year are recurrent. The chance of stroke within 90 days of a TIA may be as high as 17% with the greatest risk during the first week according to the CDC.
• This is why it is so important to treat the causes of the stroke!