Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Know the signs of a Stroke (I was oblivious!)

STROKE HAPPENS. To you. To those you love.
Know the signs. Act F.A.S.T!

FAST stands for face, arms, speech and time, and is being used as part of a campaign by the Stroke Awareness Foundation to educate the public about warning signs of stroke and seek proper medical services immediately. If you think a person is having a stroke, call 9-1-1, especially if the person has trouble with these basic commands.

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

Arms Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Is speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the sentence repeated


Time If the person shows any of these symptoms, CALL 9-1-1 Immediately!

Ask to be Transported to a Certified Stroke Center.

Ask if t-PA is Right For You.

A stroke happens when a part of the brain dies from lack of blood, usually because one of the arteries that supply oxygen-carrying blood to the brain has been damaged. There are two ways this can happen:

  1. Clogged vessel or ischemic stroke: Caused by blockage of a blood vessel in the brain, usually by a blood clot or by fatty deposits on the vessel wall. 85% of strokes are ischemic.
  2. Burst vessel or hemorrhagic stroke: Caused by a ruptured blood vessel, preventing normal flow and allowing blood to leak into brain tissue, destroying it. This occurs in 15% of strokes.

Stroke is a common and often misunderstood condition and its early symptoms are often ignored. Some brain cells deprived of oxygen die within minutes. Others may take a few hours to die depending on the nature of the blockage or hemorrhage. The loss of physical and mental functions is often permanent and can include motor-function disability. The most effective treatment for stroke can be administered if it is within three hours of the onset of stroke. Although strokes can occur at any age, most stroke patients (two-thirds) are over the age of 65... I don't follow statistics I guess!

Most of this was borrowed from http://www.strokeinfo.org

I don't do TIA... I went BIG... my luck!

A TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK OR TIA is often described as a mini-stroke. Unlike a stroke however, the symptoms can disappear within a few minutes. A TIA happens when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked or reduced, often by a blood clot. After a short time, blood flows again and the symptoms go away. With a stroke, the blood flow stays blocked, and the brain has permanent damage.

In the past by definition, a TIA resolves within 24 hours, the majority of TIAs resolve within 60 minutes, and most resolve within 30 minutes. However newer neuroimaging studies demonstrate that 30% to 50% of TIAs show brain injury on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.

A TIA is a warning: It means you are likely to have a stroke in the future. If you think you are having a TIA, call 911. Early treatment can help prevent a stroke. If you think you have had a TIA but your symptoms have gone away, you still need to call your doctor right away.

My warning sign was my slurred speech...


WALK (Is your balance off?)
TALK (Is your speech slurred or face droopy?)
REACH (Is your vision all or partly lost?)
FEEL (Is your headache severe?)

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