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May is National Stroke Awareness Month

The month of May is a National Stroke Awareness Month. The stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. The purpose of this awareness month is to save lives by educating and informing the public about cardiovascular disease.

What is a stroke? The brain is the control center of the body. It controls our sensory organs and different parts of the body functions properly. When your heart beats, it sends blood through arteries and veins to every part of our body. Blood carries oxygen to brain cells through arteries in and around the brain. Oxygen keeps the brain cells alive and working well.If there will be something that happens interrupting the flow of blood, brain cells will begin to die within minutes because they can’t get enough oxygen. This bodily dysfunction is called a stroke. The sudden bleeding in the brain also can cause a stroke if it damages brain cells.

According to medical research, a stroke can lead to lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death. If brain cells die or are damaged because of a stroke, symptoms of that damage begins to show in other parts of the body that the brain cells controls. During a stroke, every minute counts.  Fast treatment can reduce the brain damage that stroke can cause. As when the blood flow stops at the brain or leaks into the wrong place, brain cells in that area dies. This is called a stroke. Brain cells which die will not recover (permanent brain damage). Other brain cells are in shock and will start again after a while. No one can tell how long it will take for these cells to begin working again. There can be brain improvement for up to 2 years. Also, people may learn new skills to replace the one’s they’ve lost.

Anyone can have a stroke at any age. Our chances of having a stroke increase with certain risk factors, such as age, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, genetic makeup, and ethnicity. During a stroke, every minute counts. A fast treatment of stroke can reduce the brain damage.  Any of the following warning signs of stroke are: sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body; sudden changes in vision, especially in one eye; sudden severe headache of unknown cause; trouble speaking, especially slurring or thickness in speech; trouble understanding what is heard; trouble walking or staying balanced. Stroke is a medical emergency. Knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke if you have observe someone might be having a stroke and by calling  911 immediately. With an ambulance the emergency medical staff can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. Getting a speedy treatment is significant for preventing death and disability from stroke.

Acting F.A.S.T. can help stroke patients get the treatments that are desperately needed. The most effective stroke treatments are only available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within 3 hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for the most effective treatments if they don’t arrive at the hospital in time.

If you observe or think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:

F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

T—Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Stroke risk can be minimized by making healthy choices and managing health conditions. These behaviors include:  eating a healthy diet; maintaining a healthy weight; getting enough physical activity;  not smoking;  limiting alcohol use;  getting blood pressure and cholesterol under control; and taking medications as prescribed by the physician to prevent or treat the medical conditions that lead to stroke.

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