By: Nancy Wagner
Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people per year. Approximately 800,000 strokes will occur this year, one every 40 seconds, and taking a life approximately every 4 minutes.
Copley Hospital will be holding a 2-part Stroke Awareness class the first week of May. Class one will be held on May 1st from 6-7pm and again on May 2nd from 12-1pm. Class two will be held on May 8th from 6-7pm and again on May 9th from 12-1pm. To register, call Copley Wellness Center at 888-8369. There is no cost for the class but please pre-register so that we have enough handouts available. Classes will be held in the Stevens Conference Room at the hospital.
Take a moment to learn about risk factors for having a stroke, as well as preventative steps you can take.
Types of strokes:
- Ischemic stroke: caused by a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel or artery in the brain. About 87% of all strokes are ischemic.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: caused by a blood vessel in the brain that breaks and bleeds into the brain. About 13% of all strokes are hemorrhagic but more than 30% of all stroke deaths happen with hemorrhagic strokes.
Risk factors for having a stroke?
High cholesterol, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, previous stroke or TIA (mini-stroke), atrial fibrillation, carotid artery disease, obesity, physical inactivity, drinking too much alcohol and smoking.
Preventing a stroke:
Some of these risk factors you can’t control, but many you can. If you smoke, work on quitting. If you drink too much alcohol, cut back or quit. If you are overweight or obese, get more active and seek out a registered dietitian for help with eating. Healthy eating, increased activity and smoking cessation will help to improve your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, which will further decrease your risk of a stroke.
Signs of a stroke?
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
What to do if you or someone with you is having a stroke:
Many people don’t realize they are having a stroke. It is often more obvious to those around them. Time is important as quick treatment helps to prevent serious long-term effects of the stroke. Remember the word FAST which stands for:
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 phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately!
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