Know the Symptoms and Get Help Immediately
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of disability. Knowing the symptoms, and getting immediate help, are critical to saving lives and having the best possible recoveries.
“If you’re having a stroke, it’s critical to get medical attention right away,” says Bonnie Stolzman, Chief Nursing Officer. “Immediate treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death,” she adds. “Thanks to recent advances, stroke treatments and survival rates have improved greatly over the last decade. At Desert View Hospital, we can provide diagnostics and lifesaving techniques that can significantly improve outcomes.”
There are several types of stroke. Hemorrhagic strokes occur less often and result from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the brain. An ischemic stroke is the most common type and occurs when there is a blockage in an artery obstructing blood flow to the brain. TIAs (transient ischemic attacks), or “mini-strokes,” are temporary blockages that can cause symptoms similar to an ischemic stroke, then go away. Seeking medical help for TIAs is important because they can be a warning sign of a full-blown stroke to come.
Strokes can affect people of all different ages and backgrounds, but certain people may be at greater risk. Factors that may increase your chances of having a possible stroke include: heredity; certain health conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity; and some lifestyle choices, such as smoking and heavy drinking. Talk with your doctor about your risks and preventive steps you can take to stay healthy.
Learn to Act F.A.S.T.
If you think someone near you is having a stroke, every second counts. Know the warning signs, identify stroke and CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY. The acronym F.A.S.T. can help you identify possible strokes:
F = FACE
Smile. Does one side of the face droop? Can you see the same number of teeth on each side of the face?
A = ARMS
Hold up both arms for 10 seconds. Does one drift downward?
S = SPEECH
Repeat a simple sentence. Is the speech slurred or strange? Can you understand the person?
T = TIME
If these signs are present every second counts. Call 9-1-1 immediately.