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Having a Stroke? What to Do

Are You Stroke Savvy?

 

It’s all too common to hear about someone suffering a stroke, but do you know what a “stroke” is, and how to recognize and respond to the symptoms? Here’s a quick true-and-false to test your knowledge:

A stroke is the same as a heart attack.
False: A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function caused by the interruption of the flow of blood to the brain or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain. The interruption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels causes brain cells (neurons) in the affected area to die. The effects of a stroke depend on where the brain was injured, as well as how much damage occurred. A stroke can impact any number of areas including your ability to move, see, remember, speak, reason, read and write.
 
Only older people have strokes.
False: Each year, 28 percent of people who suffer a stroke are under age 65, including unborn babies, infants and kids.
 
A stroke is bad, but most people make a full recovery.
False: Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Only about 10 percent of stroke victims recover completely.
 
A stroke is bad, but you probably won’t die from it.
False: Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and the fourth leading cause in Canada. Worldwide each year, 15 million people suffer a stroke, and one-third die.
 
More men than women die from having a stroke.
False: Women are twice as likely to die from a stroke as men.
 
If you suspect someone is having a stroke, call their doctor.
False: Immediately calling emergency services (911 or your local emergency number) can significantly improve survival and recovery. If the person is diagnosed with a stroke caused by a blood clot, doctors can administer a clot-busting drug available only at a hospital, but it must be within the first few crucial hours after symptoms begin. 
 
It’s easy to tell when someone is having a stroke.
False: There is often no pain associated with stroke symptoms, and the symptoms may come and go, go away totally, or get worse over the course of several hours. Here are five signs that someone may be having a stroke:
 
· Weakness – sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary.
· Trouble speaking – sudden difficulty speaking or understanding, or sudden confusion, even if temporary.
· Vision problems – sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary.
· Headache – sudden severe and unusual headache.
· Dizziness – sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs.
 
There are some simple things you can do to help identify if someone is experiencing a stroke.
True: The instant you notice symptoms, remember S-T-R, the first three letters in the word “stroke”:
 
S: Ask the person to Smile.
T: Ask the person to Talk by coherently repeating a simple sentence such as “It is sunny out today.”
R: Ask the person to Raise both arms.
 
If the person has trouble with any of these tasks, don’t wait – call 911 immediately. Learn more at www.strokeassociation.org; www.kidshavestrokes.org; and www.heartandstroke.ca
 
 

 
 


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