somebody who has had stroke. Recently, a friend’s father suffered a stroke at
the age of 63 years. He felt dizziness and was unable to walk. He was at home
and didn’t feel necessary to go the hospital immediately. But, then realized
that it might be something severe. He called 911 and was rushed to the
hospital where everybody learned that he suffered a minor stroke. This incident
made me realize that there is a need to spread awareness about signs and
symptoms of stroke and the fact that it is an emergency. But before that, here is
some statistical data about stroke.
· Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in USA.
· Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke.
· About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes.
· About 185,00 strokes--nearly one of four—are in people who have had a previous stroke.
· About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, where blood flow to the brain is blocked.
Major Risk factors: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for stroke.
It is very important to treat stroke as an emergency. Use F-A-S-T to remember and recognize warning signs of stroke.
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 their speech slurred or strange?
T- Time : call 911 immediately.
Note the time when any of these signs first occur. It is an important information for the health care provider. Studies have shown that getting a stroke patient to the hospital within 3 hours may limit the long term disability caused by a stroke.
In addition to the above signs, women can experience unique and sudden symptoms that include but are not limited to:
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• General weakness
• Face or limb pain
Stroke symptoms include: SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body.
SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause.
One can help prevent stroke by making healthy lifestyle choices. A healthy lifestyle includes the following:
· Eating a healthy diet.
· Maintaining a healthy weight.
· Getting enough exercise.
· Not smoking.
· Limiting alcohol use.
Posted By: Rahul Patel, PharmD. candidate 2015