Every 45 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke.
Every 3.3 minutes, one of those people will die, making stroke the third leading cause of death in the U.S. today.
Stroke, also called a brain attack, is the number one cause of adult disability and the number three cause of death in the United States, striking more than 600,000 Americans each year.
Symptoms of Stroke?
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding
- Sudden change in vision
- Sudden trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden dizziness
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
To learn how to Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. , visit spotastroke.org.
What To Do During a Stroke
Don’t ignore the symptoms. Get help fast! Call 911. As the American Heart Association states, “Time lost is brain lost.”
Stroke Risk Factors
The American Stroke Association has identified several factors that increase the risk of stroke. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance of stroke. Some can’t be controlled, such as increasing age, family health history, race and gender. But most others can be changed or treated to lower the risk of stroke. Factors resulting from lifestyle or environment can be modified with a healthcare provider’s help.
- Age — The American Stroke Association reports that the chance of having a stroke more than doubles for each decade of life after age 55. While stroke is common among the elderly, many people under 65 also have strokes.
- High blood pressure — High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke. Stroke risk varies directly with blood pressure. Effective treatment of high blood pressure is an important deterrent to stroke.
- Cigarette smoking — Research shows cigarette smoking to be an important risk factor for stroke. The use of oral contraceptives combined with cigarette smoking greatly increases stroke risk.
- Sex – Stroke has no preference regarding gender. The incidence and prevalence of stroke are about equal for men and women. However, at all ages, more women than men die of stroke.
- Heredity (family history) and race — The chance of stroke is greater in people who have a family history of stroke. African Americans have a much higher risk of disability and death from a stroke than whites, in part because of a greater incidence of high blood pressure, a major stroke risk factor.
- Prior Stroke — The risk of stroke for someone who has already had one is many times that of a person who has not.
- Diabetes mellitus — Diabetes is an independent risk factor for stroke and is strongly correlated with high blood pressure. While diabetes is treatable, having it increases a person’s risk of stroke. People with diabetes often also have high cholesterol and are overweight, increasing their risk even more.
- Carotid artery disease — The carotid arteries in your neck supply blood to your brain. A carotid artery damaged by atherosclerosis (a fatty buildup of plaque in the artery wall) may become blocked by a blood clot, which may result in a stroke.
- Heart disease — People with heart problems have more than twice the risk of stroke as those whose hearts work normally. Heart attack is also the major cause of death among stroke survivors.
- Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) — TIAs are “mini strokes” that produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. They are strong predictors of stroke. A person who’s had one or more TIAs is almost 10 times more likely to have a stroke than someone of the same age and sex who hasn’t.
What makes a comprehensive stroke center different?
The additional resources, technology and personnel required for a Comprehensive Stroke Center certification are substantial and could make all the difference in a stroke patient’s recovery.
The requirements for Comprehensive Stroke Center certification are rigid and extensive, but they’re what differentiate exceptional hospitals, like Memorial.
Article By: Taylorville Memorial Hospital