Stroke, also known as a cerebral vascular accident (CVA), is the fifth leading case of death and a major cause of disability.
There are two types of stroke, hemorrhagic and ischemic. Hemorrhagic is caused by bleeding (a blood vessel rupture) within the brain. The more common, ischemic, makes up 87% of all strokes and is caused by a blockage to blood flow to or within the brain.
Stroke happens to one in twenty people averaging one every 40 seconds.
The major causes of stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and diabetes. Strokes are nearly twice as high in blacks as in whites.
Treatment of ischemic strokes is with the use of “clot-busting” drugs which must be administered within 3 hours to be effective. The “T” in FAST should also be a reminder to note the time of symptom onset. This can be vital information for doctors. In some cases, a clot must be removed surgically.
Hemorrhagic strokes are treated by stopping the source of bleeding.
Rehabilitation is often necessary to treat residual disability from stroke.
Is the Face drooping?
Is there Arm weakness?
Is there difficulty with Speech?
If yes, to any of these questions it is Time to call 911
F A S T
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Stroke Association.