Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States
What is a stroke?
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. Within minutes, brain cells become damaged or die. The effects of a stroke – ranging from impaired function to complete paralysis – depend on its severity, as well as which part of the brain is injured.
What are the symptoms of stroke?
Think BE FAST and you just might save a life from stroke.
- Balance: is the person suddenly having trouble with balance or coordination?
- Eyes: Is the person experiencing suddenly blurred or double vision or a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes?
- Face drooping: does one side of the face look uneven or droop? Ask the person to smile. Is their smile uneven?
- Arm weakness: is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech: does the person sound like they are slurring their words? Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
- Time to call 911: if you observe any of these signs, CALL 911.
How to prevent a stroke
Some factors are out of your control, like family history. But you can reduce your stroke risk by:
- not smoking
- avoiding food high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol
- being physically active
- controlling your weight
- monitoring and managing your blood pressure
- monitoring and managing your diabetes
And be sure to seek treatment for the following medical conditions as they increase your risk for stroke:
- high blood pressure
- carotid/peripheral artery disease
- atrial fibrillation
- heart disease
- sickle cell disease
Highpoint Health follows a strict protocol for all stroke patients
We partner with the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the number one stroke center in the Midwest, so that patients can receive expert care around the clock. A sophisticated telemedicine system allows us to provide remote patient assessments. Treatment is then started based on a recommendation from a stroke team expert. This may include administering the clot-busting drug tPA, further testing and observation, hospital admission, or for the sickest of the sick, transferring the patient via air care or ambulance to a tertiary care facility.
To see if you are at high risk for stroke, take the Stroke Risk Quiz.
For more information about stroke warning signs, symptoms and prevention, please visit American Stroke Association.