February is Heart Month and this week we are highlighting stroke awareness.
Did you know that stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults? According to the CDC, about 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year.
What is a Stroke?
Stroke is a “brain attack” because it affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. When stroke occurs, the affected part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs and starts to die.
What are some stroke symptoms?
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:
F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.
Stroke is preventable and treatable
Getting fast treatment is important to preventing death and disability from stroke. Nearly 2 million brain cells die every minute during a stroke. Delaying care for a couple of hours, e.g. to “see if it gets better,” can put patients outside the treatment windows.
More stroke information:
American Stroke Association – English
American Stroke Association – Spanish