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Thursday, December 18, 2014 2:50 pm

Know The Warning Signs of Stroke

Our brains are amazing. They are also vulnerable.

According to the American Stroke Association’s Stroke Statistics, Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death in the United States.

Know The Warning Signs of Stroke
Act F.A.S.T. to limit damage
(Photo credit: Kathleen Kvilhaug)

• nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year
• this number translates into one stroke every 40 seconds
• these strokes can be new or recurring strokes
• stroke kills more than 137,000 people each year
• on average, one person dies of stroke every 4 minutes

What is Stroke?

Our brain requires nutrients and oxygen to function properly. An interruption of blood flow to the brain for greater than four minutes is likely to result in brain cell damage or death in the area of the brain where the interruption occurred. This event is referred to as a stroke.

There are different types of stroke:

•Ischemic stroke caused by a blockage in a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain
•Hemorrhagic stroke caused by a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain

Early recognition of Stroke and prompt medical attention can help to minimize the damage done to the brain and reduce the chance of permanent disability or death. If you or someone near you exhibits symptoms of stroke, call 911 or seek medical care immediately. Time is of essence.

Recognize the Warning Signs of Stroke:

Stroke symptoms can appear gradually or suddenly. Typically, one or more of the following symptoms will appear suddenly:

•Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
•Confusion or trouble understanding other people
•Trouble speaking
•Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
•Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
•Severe headache that comes on for no known reason

Remember the stroke acronym FAST (Stroke):

F = Facial drooping
A = Arm weakness
S = Speech difficulties
T = Time

Know which hospital nearest to you is equipped to handle stroke with Stroke 24 hour emergency stroke care. Being familiar with the location of the nearest primary stroke center is key to saving precious time when stroke is suspected.

Respond… when in doubt… Call 911 or seek emergency medical attention for suspected Stroke. 

If it is an actual stroke, you will be glad you did.