Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die. The symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headache with no known cause. There are two forms of stroke: ischemic - blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic - bleeding into or around the brain.
SPOT A STROKE F.A.S.T.
It could save a life, possibly yours.
Last year, nearly 800,000 people had a stroke. The Southeast District Health Department says you can help prevent, beat and treat stroke by thinking F.A.S.T. These simple letters can help you recognize the signs of a stroke and get help right away.
FACE DROOPING — Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
ARM WEAKNESS — Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH DIFFICULTY — Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
TIME TO CALL 9-1-1 — If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
OTHER SYMPTOMS YOU SHOULD KNOW: Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg, sudden confusion or trouble understanding, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination, and/or sudden severe headache with no known cause.
To learn more
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
American Stroke Association