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Don't have a STROKE!

Discover FAST facts and basic stroke information below:

Did you know?

  • High blood pressure = higher risk of stroke

  • Nearly 1 in 6 American adults with high blood pressure don’t know

  • Stroke kills 140,000 Americans each year – that’s 1 out of 20 deaths

  • Someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds - Every 4 minutes someone dies

  • Every year, more than 795,000 people have a stroke in the US – About 610,000 of these are new or first time strokes

  • Risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for blacks than whites, and blacks have the highest rate of death due to strokes

  • There is a resource guide (Stroked By Love) that will help new stroke survivors and their caregivers with life after a stroke.

  • There is also a journal specifically for Stroke Survivors to write down their thoughts, ideas, keep up with medications, visits and more.

What is a stroke?

A disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the heart

Types of Strokes

Ischemic - This is the most common type of stroke. Blood vessels to the brain are blocked, so brain cells don't get the blood and oxygen they need. This results in permanent brain injury.

Hemorrhagic - A blood vessel in the brain bursts or breaks and brain cells are not getting the oxygen and nutrients they need.

Transient Ischemic Attack - The TIA is a warning sign that an ischemic stroke could occur. Blood flow to the brain is blocked or reduced only for a very short amount of time. The symptoms of a TIA are similar to a stroke but they generally last only for a couple of minutes or at most a few hours.

What happens when a stroke occurs?

A stroke occurs when a clot or rupture interrupts blood flow to the brain. Without oxygen rich blood, brain cells die.

How to spot a stroke

Face drooping

Arm weakness

Speech difficulty

Time to call 9-1-1

F – A – S – T

(It is important to note that not everybody has these signs but at least one is present it the majority of those having a stroke)

Why you should act FAST

If you suspect someone is experiencing a stroke, it is important that medical attention is sought IMMEDIATELY! Immediate treatment can minimize long-term effects of a stroke and can prevent death. If a stroke is caused by a clot (ischemic), there is a treatment available. Alteplase IV r-tPA, is a FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approved treatment for ischemic strokes. This treatment dissolves the clot which improves blood flow. It is also important to note that treatment is most effective when administered within a 3 to 4.5-hour window; beginning with the time you spot a stroke.

Preventing Strokes

  • Lifestyle modifications are things you can do to lower your risk of having a stroke

  • Getting recommended physical activity (30 minutes daily)

  • Getting well-balance meals (MyPlate)

  • If you’re prescribed medication, continue taking as prescribed

  • If you currently smoke, consider quitting

  • If you consume alcohol, consider limiting your consumption

  • Understand and speak with your Medical Provider about your family history and other risk factors for stroke

Effects of Strokes

The brain is an extremely complex organ and controls body function. If a stroke occurs, and blood flow cannot reach a region that controls a specific body function, that part of the body won’t work as it should. The effects of a stroke depend on the location of obstruction (blockage) and how much of the brain tissue is affected. Did you know… if a stroke occurs in the left side of the brain, the right side will be affected? Therefore, if a stroke occurs in the right side of the brain, the left side will be affected. Below are effects of stroke on the body:

Paralysis (physical challenges)

Speech/language issues (communication challenges)

Changes in behavioral style (behavioral and emotional challenges)

Memory loss

*Remember – Every stroke is unique, but strokes tend to affect people in common ways.*

Article information obtained from Start with Heart and the American Heart Association

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