Stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked.
These blockages are often caused by blood clots (clots can be caused by fatty deposits within the arteries called plaque). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.
It is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults.
The effects of a stroke range from mild to severe and can include paralysis, problems with thinking, problems with speaking, and emotional problems.
Stroke is always a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Every minute counts. It can happen to anyone – at any age and any time.
The good news is that strokes can be treated and prevented. The death rate and level of disability resulting from strokes can be dramatically reduced by immediate and appropriate medical care.
However, you need to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and get to a hospital quickly. Getting treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability.
CAN YOU SPOT A STROKE BEFORE IT HAPPENS? HERE’S WHAT TO LOOK FOR!
According to American Stroke Association, F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke:
F – Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
A – Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms.
S – Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
T – Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
Watch Public Health England’s television advert below: