Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Though stroke can lead to permanent brain damage, disability, and even death, the good news is that an estimated 80 percent of stroke cases can be prevented by reducing personal risk factors. To learn more about stroke risk, check out the following facts, and learn how to act F.A.S.T. to seek life-saving treatment at the first signs and symptoms of stroke.
Every minute counts for stroke victims! Two million brain cells die
every minute during stroke. Because of this, the American Stroke Association recommends acting F.A.S.T in the event of stroke.
- (F)ace Drooping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
- (A)rm Weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- (S)peech Difficulty. Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- (T)ime to Call 911. 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.
Did You Know?
- Approximately 15 Americans die from a stroke every hour- that's 130,000 people each year.
- Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke (about 610,000 of these are first or new strokes and 185,000 of these are recurrent).
- In comparison to men, about 55,000 more women have strokes each year.
- Smoking is one of the three major stroke risk factors, along with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Fewer than one in five Americans recognize the symptoms of stroke.
- The country's highest death rates from stroke are in the southeastern United States.
- Strokes cost the United States an estimated $73 billion each year.
When it comes to stroke, time is critical. Knowing your facts, and getting to a hospital and receiving treatment immediately saves lives and reduces disabilities post-stroke. Learn more about stroke prevention, symptoms and treatment here, and watch the American Stroke Association video below detailing the warning signs and symptoms of stroke.