What is a Stroke?

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America and the #1 cause of adult disability. 80% of strokes are preventable; you can prevent a stroke!

A stroke is a brain attack that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. Brain cells begin to die.

When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who has a small stroke may experience only minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be paralyzed (typo change one to on) one one side or lose their ability to speak. Some people never recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

A preventable killer

ACT FAST!

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test:

  • FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • ARMS Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words sluured? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
  • TIME If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 or get to the hospital FAST. Brain cells are dying.

A new NSA study shows most American do not treat stroke as an emergency. When a stroke - or brain attack - first hits, may people don't even recognize the symptoms and do not immediately call 9-1-1. In fact, a recent NSA survey reports 1 in 3 Americans cannot name a single symptom a person might experience while having a stroke.

Every minute counts for stroke patients and acting F.A.S.T. can lead patients to the stroke treatments they desperately need. The most effective stroke treatments are available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first three hours of the first symptoms. Many Americans are not aware that stroke patients may not be eligible for stroke treatments if they arrive at the hospital after the three-hour window.