May Is National Stroke Awareness Month. It’s time to get the facts and be “stroke smart”

• The National Stroke Association wants everyone to be “Stroke Smart” by…
o Reducing Stroke Risk
o Recognizing Stroke Symptoms
o Responding quickly by calling 911 at the first sign of stroke

• Stroke Facts
o Stroke is a leading cause of death in the U.S.
o 795, 000 people in the U.S. suffer strokes each year
o Stroke causes 133,000 deaths in the U.S. each year
o On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds in the U.S.
o There are 7,000,000 stroke survivors in the U.S.
o Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability
o The National Stroke Association states that up to 80% of all strokes are preventable through risk factor management
o The estimated direct and indirect cost of stroke was $73.7 billion in 2010
o The mean lifetime cost of ischemic stroke in the U.S. is about $140, 048.

• Definition of a Stroke
o Sudden brain damage
o Lack of blood flow to the brain caused by a clot or rupture of a blood vessel
o Ischemic stroke: due to a clot (87% of strokes)
o Hemorrhagic stroke: bleeding around or into the brain

• Stroke Symptoms
o Sudden and severe headache
o Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
o Sudden dizziness
o Trouble walking
o Sudden confusion
o Trouble speaking
o Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg

• Think F-A-S-T
o F= Face: Ask the person to smile
o A= Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms
o S= Speech: Ask the person to speak a simple sentence
o T= Time: Call 911 immediately if you notice any symptoms of a stroke

• National Stroke Association recommends the following guidelines to help people reduce their stroke risk:
o Know your blood pressure and have it checked at least annually. If it is elevated, work with your health care professional to control it.
o Find out if you have atrial fibrillation (A fib), which is a type of irregular heartbeat. If you do, work with your health care professional to manage it.
o If you smoke, Stop.

The above facts and information can be found by visiting www.stroke.org and through the National Stroke Association.

-Anna Branquinho, OTR/L & Lauren Carlino, DPT
Stroke Rehabilitation Team