WHAT IS A STROKE?
A stroke occurs when blood flow is interrupted to part of the brain. Without blood, brain cells quickly begin to die. Every second that the brain is deprived of oxygen, 32,000 brain cells die.
FACTS ABOUT STROKE:
- Stroke can affect different people in different ways. It depends on the type of stroke and the area of the brain affected.
- Every 45 seconds someone suffers a stroke.
- Every year in the United States over 750,000 people experience a stroke with an estimated 21 percent dying.
- Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
- Nearly 30 percent of those who suffer a stroke are under the age of 65.
HOW IS STROKE TREATED?
Although 85 percent of stroke victims are eligible for the clot-busting drug, tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, only about 5 percent of patients actually arrive at the hospital in time to receive this life-saving treatment. Primary stroke centers can treat stroke patients within a three-hour window of occurrence and comprehensive stroke centers have the ability to treat severe strokes with specialized interventional catheters within a 24-hour window, which is especially critical for patients who are unable to be treated with tPA.
CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!
It is crucial that you immediately call 911 when you first notice the warning signs of a stroke. The length of time between the first warning signs and the time you get to a hospital may be the difference between a good or poor outcome. At Lake EMS we have partnered with our local primary and comprehensive stroke centers in order to optimize patient outcomes.
STROKE WARNING SIGNS:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the 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
Published in Healthy Living magazine – June 2012