South Florida Vascular Associates South Florida Vascular Associates

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May is Stroke Awareness Month

 Did you know that every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke? Each year, almost 800,000 strokes occur in the United States, often leading to serious, life-changing complications.  National Stroke Awareness Month is an annual event held within the United States. The aim of National Stroke Awareness Month is to make Americans aware that they may be able to save a life of a person experiencing a stroke and to place emphasis on making the public aware about Acting FAST.  If a stroke patient seeks immediate medical attention, clot busting medications can be administered within 3 hours and up to 4.5 hours after becoming symptomatic that may improve the chances of recovering from a stroke. A significant number of stroke victims don’t get to the hospital in time for treatment this is why it’s so important to identify a stroke immediately

FAST is an acronym for things to check in a suspected stroke victim:

F - Face Does the face droop on one side when the person smiles?
A - Arm after raising both arms, does one of the arms drift downwards?
S - Speech after repeating a simple phrase, does the person’s speech sound slurred or strange?
T - Time  If any or all of the above are observed call for 9-1-1

What is a stroke?

A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack". Many people think of stroke as a condition that affects only older adults however, strokes can and do occur in people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. In fact, nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than age 65. A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients causing the brain to starve. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain is affected through paralysis, language, motor skills, or vision.
How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

Each year nearly 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
A stroke happens every 40 seconds.
Every 4 minutes someone in the United States dies from a stroke.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

In honor of Stroke Awareness Month: Educate Yourself, Act Fast, Spread the Word and Help to Save a Life!

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