Boost Your Stroke Knowledge during Stroke Awareness Month
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke kills nearly 140,000 people each year. It is the fourth leading cause of death, and a leading cause of disability, in the U.S.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot, or bursts (ruptures). When that happens, blood does not flow properly through the brain and brain cells die. Someone suffers a stroke about every 40 seconds; it is a condition in which every second counts. The phrase "time is brain" indicates how critical it is to get help quickly.
Knowing the signs can help you, or someone you love. Remember FAST and call 911 immediately if you, or someone you know, is having a stroke.
F: Face drooping
A: Arm weakness
S: Speech difficulty (or, "Smile test" – someone suffering a stroke will have a hard time lifting one side of their mouth when asked to smile.)
T: Time to call 9-1-1
Wondering if you are at risk for stroke? There are several stroke risk factors, such as age, gender, and family history, which are beyond a person's control. But, there is a lot you can do to stay healthy and reduce your stroke risk. These include: eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight as well as blood pressure and cholesterol levels; quitting smoking; managing diabetes; and exercising regularly.