What is a stroke?
Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States. Every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a stroke. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.
What are the types of stroke?
Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) are minor or warning strokes. In a TIA, the typical stroke warning signs develop. However, in a TIA, the blood clot occurs for a short time and tends to go away within minutes. TIAs are strong indicators of a possible major stroke. Steps should be taken immediately to prevent a stroke. There are two types of stroke. The first is an ischemic stroke. It is caused when blood flow is blocked to an area of the brain. It is most commonly caused by a blood clot. The second type is a hemorrhagic stroke, or bleed. This occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain bursts and causes blood to leak into the brain tissue.
Know Your Risks
Risk Factors You Can Control
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Atrial Fibrillation
- High blood pressure
Risk Factors You Can’t Control
- Previous heart attack or stroke
- Family history of heart disease or stroke
Work with your doctor to manage the risks you can change.
Control Your Risk
- Don't smoke.
- Take your medicine as directed.
- Get your blood pressure checked and control it if it's high.
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
- Decrease your stress level.
- Seek emotional support when you need it.
F.A.S.T. Exam for Stroke
FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS: Is an arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH: Is speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the sentence repeated correctly?
TIME: If the person shows any of these symptoms, CALL 9-1-1 Immediately.
Symptoms Beyond F.A.S.T.
Other Symptoms You Should Know
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
- Sudden confusion or trouble 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