Stroke

A stroke occurs when the oxygen supply to part of the brain is cut off and causes the death of brain cells. Rapid treatment is required in order to save the life of the person suffering a stroke, and also to reduce brain damage that occurs as a result.

Symptoms

Trouble speaking/confusion, slurred speech, paralysis or numbness of face, arms, or legs (one side), blurred/blackened vision in one or both eyes, double vision, sudden severe headache, vomiting, dizziness, altered consciousness, trouble walking/loss of balance.

If someone is experiencing a stroke, remember these four things= FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, and Time).

  • Face: If the person’s face droops on one side when asked to smile.

  • Arms: If the person has one arm begin to fall when asked to hold both of their arms up.

  • Speech: If the person is unable to repeat a simple phrase or has slurred speech.

  • Time: If they are unable to do the above, seek immediate medical attention and call 911.

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Two types of Stroke

Ischemic Stroke is the most common type of stroke. It is caused by blood flow being interrupted by fatty deposits, blood clots, or debris in the brain that become lodged in the brain.

Hemorrhagic Stroke is caused by brain blood vessel rupture. Factors like prior trauma, for example a car accident, overtreatment of blood thinners, and uncontrolled high blood pressure increase the risk for hemorrhagic stroke.

General Risk Factors

Overweight, physical inactivity, heavy alcohol consumption, drugs like cocaine and meth, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, family history, COVID infection, being above 55, use of birth control/estrogen. Males have higher risk than females.

Prevention

Control hypertension, eat less cholesterol and saturated fats, quit tobacco, manage diabetes, keep a healthy weight, eat fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, drink in moderation, treat sleep apnea, and avoid illegal drugs.

Medications

Antiplatelet drugs like aspirin for those who have already had a stroke. In high-risk individuals, anticoagulants like warfarin may be prescribed

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