May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and Lake Regional Health System is sharing five facts everyone needs to know about stroke.
“These five facts will help you learn the warning signs of stroke, as well as how to prevent stroke and deal with the emergency if it happens,” said Crystal Lloyd, R.N., stroke coordinator and FACT program director.
- Strokes affect all ages. Anyone, including children, can have a stroke, though the risk increases with age. Race also affects the likelihood of stroke. The risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for Black people, and Black people have the highest rate of death due to stroke.
- The majority of strokes are preventable. High blood pressure is the biggest treatable risk factor for stroke. This means that preventing high blood pressure or controlling it, through lifestyle changes and medicine, is critical. You can help do that by eating a healthy diet; maintaining a healthy weight; avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke; and preventing or managing other health conditions, such as high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.
- The two types of strokes are ischemic, where the blood supply to the brain is blocked, and hemorrhagic, where a blood vessel in the brain bursts.Ischemic strokes are far more common, but both types of strokes kill brain cells.
- These are the FAST warning signs and symptoms of stroke:
- Face drooping. Asking the person to smile. Does one side droop?
- Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one side drift downward?
- Speech difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
- Time to call 911. Don't delay: If the person shows any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
- Stroke treatment and outcomes depend on how quickly you get to the hospital and the type of stroke you have. The sooner you get treatment for a stroke, the better your chances of surviving and avoiding long-term disability.
First responders need to know which hospitals are ready to care for stroke patients. That’s why the State of Missouri designates certain hospitals as stroke centers. Lake Regional Health System is a state-designated Level II Stroke Center. This means Lake Regional provides a high level of expert care to patients who have experienced stroke.
In addition, Lake Regional has earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor RollSM Elite Plus. The award recognizes the hospital's success in ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
Learn more at lakeregional.com/StrokeCenter.