Do You Know the Signs of Stroke?

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the 4th leading cause of death for adults in the US. Approximately 800,000 strokes occur each year. The good news is up to 80% of strokes are preventable; learn the signs and symptoms of a stroke and act FAST.

F is for facial weakness; the face feels numb or frozen, especially on one side.
A is for arm weakness; the weakness can be particularly noticeable on one side.
S is for speech problems; the person is unable to speak or understand clearly.
T is for time; the faster a stroke victim gets treatment, the less damage is caused to the brain.

Someone having a stroke may also experience dizziness, loss of coordination, difficulty walking, nausea or vomiting, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes or have a severe headache with no known cause.

“If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you could be having a transient ischemic attack or TIA, sometimes called a ‘ministroke,’” explains Meriter-UnityPoint Health Neurologist, Ross Levine, MD, FAHA, FAAN. “This is a warning sign that you might have a full stroke. Prompt treatment of a TIA may help prevent a stroke in the future.”

Quick Facts about Stroke
• Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke
• Every 3-4 minutes, someone in the United States dies from a stroke
• Approximately 15% of strokes are preceded by a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
• About half of patients who experience a TIA fail to report it to their health care provider

Stop Stroke
Through recognition and management of risk factors and lifestyle changes, up to 80% of strokes can be prevented. Stroke factors that can be controlled include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, tobacco use, alcohol use (drinking more than 2 drinks per day) and obesity/excessive weight.

Know the Signs
If you or a loved one has symptoms of a stroke, time is critical. Our trained experts in Meriter’s emergency department (ED) are available 24 hours-a-day to care for an emergency.

If you have experienced a stroke, Meriter has a full team of professionals to assist with your recovery including neurologists, rehabilitation medicine physicians and therapy specialists. The team provides a full array of consultative, diagnostic, treatment and case management services for both inpatients and outpatients.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke could save lives, call 911 and don’t delay – time is critical to prevent a stroke.

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