Friday, January 11, 2008

General Health Topic - Stroke - What Is It?

Hello Everyone,

This was sent to me as a suggested topic and I agree that we need to spread the word.

About Strokes - There are two types of strokes (also called a cerebrovascular accident).

An ischemic stroke occurs when the blood supply to all or part of the brain is cut off. Most strokes are of the ischemic type. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted.

A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel bursts in the brain.

Without oxygen, brain cells begin to die. Permanent disability or death can result. High blood pressure, smoking, and having had a previous stroke or heart attack increase a person’s chances of having a stroke.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United Sates. In 2002, stroke killed 162,672 people, accounting for about 1 of every 15 deaths in the United States. Four million Americans who have survived a stroke are living with impairments and 15 to 30 percent are permanently disabled. The American Heart Association also estimates that stroke cost about $68 billion in both direct and indirect costs in 2005 in the United States alone. For more information check out the following:

With timely treatment, the risk of death and disability from stroke can be lowered.

It is very important to know the symptoms of a stroke and act in time.

Signs of a Stroke - The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke notes these major signs of stroke:

•Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms or legs
•Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others
•Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
•Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
•Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you think someone is having a stroke, you should call 911 immediately.

I'll post more information on stroke identification in the next article.


Dr. Paul

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