Top Los Angeles Nursing School
Read on and learn more about the fifth leading cause of death in the US...
1. Fast Facts
- Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the US.
- Stroke is also the leading cause of disability in the US.
- There are two forms of stroke: ischemic - blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic - bleeding into or around the brain.
- About 25 percent of people who recover from their first stroke will have another stroke within 5 years.
Do you know the four signs of a stroke? Start memorizing these, and you might save a life one day!
- F: Face drooping
- Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
- A: Arm weakness
- Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S: Speech 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: 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.
3. Prevention & Treatment
There are essentially 3 treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy after the stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation.
- Therapies to avoid a first or recurrent stroke rely on treating a person's underlying risk factors for stroke, including hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes.
- Acute stroke therapies attempt to stop a stroke while it happens by quickly dissolving the blood clot causing an ischemic stroke, or by stopping the bleeding of a hemorrhagic stroke.
- Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities tied to stroke damage.
4. Life After A Stroke
While stroke is a disease of the brain, its effects can be felt throughout the body. A common disability stemming from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness or hemiparesis.
Stroke survivors often display the following symptoms:
- Problems understanding or forming speech
- Difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions
- Depression and/or other emotional problems
- Numbness or strange sensations
- Pain is often worse in the hands and feet, made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures