The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association reports that stroke is the #1 leading cause of adult disability throughout the United States and the #2 cause of death worldwide. Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered from this dreaded disease, a disease that often strikes people in the prime of their life. In the US alone, someone suffers a stroke about every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
Strokes can happen when the blood supply is reduced or cut off, keeping necessary oxygen and nutrients from reaching your brain. This lack of blood flow causes your brain cells to die quickly – at the rate of about 2 million brain cells every minute. Sometimes TIAs or mini-strokes occur, with symptoms only lasting for a short period of time. They are still very serious and should be reason to go to the emergency room, even if symptoms fade quickly. These short attacks are often precursors to larger, more debilitating strokes. Acting quickly in response to any stroke symptoms is critical to receiving timely treatment and potentially reversing a stroke’s debilitating effects.
Symptoms to Know
Symptoms of stroke may include weakness, typically on one side of the body, speech difficulty, severe headache, confusion, visual disturbances, poor balance, or numbness. If you can’t move an arm or leg, lose clarity of vision or the ability to talk or understand speech, you’re likely experiencing a stroke. Don’t let doubt disable you or your loved one, call 9-1-1 immediately.
B.E. F.A.S.T. is a simple way to remember the warning signs:
Balance – Abrupt dizziness or loss of coordination?
Eyes – Sudden trouble seeing out of one or both eyes?
Face – Look for facial drooping.
Arm – Check if one arm is weak.
Speech – Listen for slurred speech.
Time – Call 911 right away!
A stroke it always unexpected, but CHI Memorial is here to care for you. With a coordinated team of world-renowned vascular and interventional neurologists, neuro radiologists, certified stroke nurse practitioners, emergency physicians, telemedicine experts, experienced research coordinators and other stroke specialists working together, we quickly identify the symptoms of stroke and get you to the very best treatment FAST.