Strokes Are A Race Against Time
ACT F.A.S.T. - Minutes Matter
- FACE - Ask them to smile.
- ARMS - Does one arm drift downward? Ask them to raise both arms.
- SPEECH - Are words slurred? Ask them to repeat a phrase.
- TIME - If they show any of these symptoms, time is important.
Call 911 or get to the hospital fast.
it used to be that when a stroke occurred, there wasn't much anyone could do about it. But that’s no longer true. New innovative treatments may prevent death or disability.
If people seek treatment within three hours of the first onset of symptoms, physicians have more options to fight strokes and save lives. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs of stroke inside and out.
Warning Signs of Stroke
The difference between a best possible recovery and lasting disability can depend upon how fast someone responds to the signs of stroke and gets help. If you experience any of the following signs of stroke, call 911 immediately:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden and severe headache
Stroke is sometimes called a brain attack because it affects the brain in much the same way a heart attack impacts the heart. Every stroke is different and the severity is largely dependent upon the area of the brain affected and the length of time that area was without oxygen.
Stroke Prevention Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, smoking and a past history of strokes or mini strokes called TIA (transient ischemic attacks).
The good news is that there are ways to minimize some of these risk factors, including:
- Quit smoking
- Control your blood pressure
- Keep physically active
- Improve your diet and maintain a healthy weight
- Manage stress
- See your doctor regularly and take medication as directed
Types of Stroke
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States. Approximately 700,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year. Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries of the brain.
The main types of stroke are:
Ischemic Stroke: The most common type of stroke – accounting for almost 80-percent of all strokes -- is caused by a clot or other blockage within an artery leading to the brain.
Hemorrhagic Stroke: This is a type of stroke caused when a blood vessel ruptures in or near the brain. There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes:
- Intracerebral Hemorrhage - occurs when a blood vessel bleeds into the tissue deep within the brain. The main causes of this type of stroke are chronic high blood pressure and aging blood vessels.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage - occurs when a blood vessel on the surface of the brain ruptures and bleeds into the space between the brain and skull. The most common cause is a ruptured aneurysm brought on by high blood pressure. An aneurysm is a blood-filled pouch that balloons out from an artery wall.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): A TIA is sometimes called a “mini stroke” that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time. The symptoms of a TIA are like the warning signs of a stroke but usually only last a few minutes.
TIA’s should never be ignored. Call 9-1-1 or seek medical attention right away.