May Is National Stroke Awareness Month
Calling Attention to the Fight Against Stroke
In the United States alone, someone dies from a stroke about every four minutes. Although strokes are largely preventable and treatable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 2 out of 5 people don’t know how to recognize the signs of stroke in themselves or others. That’s why May has been designated as National Stroke Awareness Month: to spread greater awareness about the signs and symptoms.
In this blog post, we’ll review some tips for identifying a stroke – and offer some surprising facts about strokes that you may not know. We encourage you to spread the word with your friends and family members this month, so that we can all stay better informed about this life-threatening condition!
Recognizing the Signs of Stroke
Stroke takes place whenever there is a sudden interruption in the blood supply to the brain, usually because of a blood clot or vessel rupture. Although there are ways to reduce your risk of stroke – such as by exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and lowering your sodium intake – stroke can still happen at any age, regardless of overall condition or medical history. As part of National Stroke Awareness Month, the CDC and the American Stroke Association both recommend that you memorize a simple acronym: F.A.S.T.
Here’s a breakdown of the F.A.S.T. acronym:
- Face drooping: When one side of the face starts to “fall,” there is a strong chance that the person is suffering a stroke. To confirm, ask the person to smile and see if their face is lopsided.
- Arm weakness: Most strokes are accompanied by weakness on one side, particularly in the arm. Ask the person to raise both hands and see if one arm droops down.
- Speech difficulty: One of the most telling signs of stroke is slurred speech or difficulty forming sentences. When you can’t understand your loved one, they may be having a stroke.
- Time to call 911: If all three conditions are present, it’s time to call 911 or emergency services, even if you’re still not 100% sure. It could save a life!
In addition to using the F.A.S.T. acronym, it’s important to keep in mind that sudden changes in walking and talking could indicate a stroke, too. Some stroke victims also report headaches and confusion.
Key Facts About Strokes
Although it is treatable, stroke is still one of the top 5 leading causes of death and disability for adults. By staying informed about this condition, you may be able to help your family members and loved ones survive and retain greater functioning after a stroke.
Some interesting facts about strokes in the United States:
- Stroke causes 1 out of every 20 adult deaths in America.
- More than 800,000 people suffer a stroke every year.
- Stroke victims face increased risks of a repeat stroke: In fact, 25% of all strokes are recurrent.
- Smoking, eating high cholesterol foods, and obesity can sharply increase your risk of a stroke.
- The vast majority of strokes are ischemic strokes, which are caused by blockages in the arteries.
- Your risk of stroke can vary depending on age and ethnicity.
- At least one-third of all people hospitalized for stroke are under the age of 65.
- Stroke victims who get emergency treatment within 3 hours tend to have reduced disabilities later on.
- In 66% of stroke cases, the stroke is recognized by someone other than the patient.
- Up to 80% of all strokes are considered to be preventable.
Do you need the services of a skilled injury attorney after you or a loved one suffers a preventable stroke? Contact our team at The Mellino Law Firm today for a free legal consultation.