BRAIN STROKE

Stroke has always been a much feared medical emergency, and rightly so, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. Not all strokes are preventable, so it is very important to recognize the early 6 signs of stroke and get treatment rapidly. Stroke damages brain tissue, but that loss can be minimized by getting quickly to an emergency room that can connect to a rapid response stroke center.

Trouble with speaking and understanding

You may experience confusion. You may slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech..

Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg

You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg, especially on one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Similarly, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.

Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes

You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.

Headache

A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate you're having a stroke.

Trouble with walking

You may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.

Causes

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. This deprives your brain of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause your brain cells to die. A stroke may be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). Some people may experience only a temporary disruption of blood flow to their brain (transient ischemic attack, or TIA).

There are two types of stroke.

  • Ischemic stroke: is similar to a heart attack, except it occurs in the blood vessels of the brain. Clots can form in the brain's blood vessels, in blood vessels leading to the brain, or even in blood vessels elsewhere in the body and then travel to the brain. These clots block blood flow to the brain's cells. Ischemic stroke can also occur when too much plaque (fatty deposits and cholesterol) clogs the brain's blood vessels. About 80% of all strokes are ischemic.
  • Hemorrhagic (heh-more-raj-ik) strokes: occur when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures. The result is blood seeping into the brain tissue, causing damage to brain cells. The most common causes of hemorrhagic stroke are high blood pressure and brain aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weakness or thinness in the blood vessel wall.


  • Lifestyle risk factors

    • Being overweight or obese
    • Physical inactivity
    • Heavy or binge drinking
    • Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
  • Medical risk factors

    • High blood pressure — the risk of stroke begins to increase at blood pressure readings higher than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Your doctor will help you decide on a target blood pressure based on your age, whether you have diabetes and other factors.
    • Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.
    • High cholesterol.
    • Diabetes.
    • Obstructive sleep apnea — a sleep disorder in which the oxygen level intermittently drops during the night.
    • Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm.

About CARE Hospitals

Stroke has always been a much feared medical emergency, and rightly so, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. Not all strokes are preventable, so it is very important to recognize the early 6 signs of stroke and get treatment rapidly. Stroke damages brain tissue, but that loss can be minimized by getting quickly to an emergency room that can connect to a rapid response stroke center.

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