What is a Stroke?
A stroke is a sudden interruption of blood supply to the brain. It deprives the brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients, and within minutes brain cells begin to die.
- 140,000 Americans die from stroke every year
- 1 out of every 20 deaths is stroke-related
- Someone has a stroke every 40 seconds
- Every 4 minutes, someone dies of a stroke
- Trouble speaking or understanding
- Paralysis/numbness of one side of the face, arm, or leg
- Blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking
Types of Stroke
80% of strokes are ischemic, meaning the arteries to the brain have become narrowed or blocked. There are two types of ischemic strokes:
- Thrombotic Stroke: a blood clot forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to the brain.
- Embolic Stroke: a blood clot or other debris forms away from the brain (commonly in the heart) and lodges in narrower brain arteries.
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures. Types of hemorrhagic strokes include:
- Intracerebral Hemorrhage: a blood vessel in the brain bursts and spills into surrounding brain tissue which damages the other cells.
- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: an artery on or near the surface of the brain bursts and spills into the space between the surface of the brain and skull.
Conditions that affect blood vessels are:
- Hypertension: uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Blood Thinners: overtreatment with anticoagulants
- Aneurysms: weak spots in blood vessel walls
Transient Ischemic Attack
A TIA is a temporary period of stroke symptoms caused by a decrease in blood supply the brain. It lasts as little as five minutes.
- Controlling high blood pressure
- Lowering cholesterol and saturated fat in diets
- Abstaining from tobacco
- Controlling diabetes
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Diets rich in fruits and vegetables
- Regular exercise
- Drinking little to no alcohol
- Treating obstructive sleep apnea
- Abstaining from illegal drugs
Identifying and Responding to a Stroke: F-A-S-T
- Face – is their face droopy or lopsided? Do they have an uneven smile?
- Arms – can they lift BOTH of their arms above their shoulders? Any numbness?
- Speech – is their speech slurred or unclear in anyway?
- Time – call 911 IMMEDIATELY! The quicker a stroke victim can get help the more the effects can be mitigated.
Education is key to assisting yourself and your loved ones to prevent strokes. Have you or a loved one suffered from stroke and need in-home care? Contact Cypress HomeCare Solutions today.