Stroke, a disease that affects arteries leading to and within the brain, is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. A stroke can happen to anyone at any age – men and women of all ages and races.
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls encourages everyone to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of stroke, as early recognition and treatment of stroke are crucial to preventing disability and death. Signs and symptoms of stroke can include: sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance; and sudden severe headache without a known reason.
An easier way to remember stroke signs and symptoms is to think of the phrase/acronym, BE FAST:
B – Balance difficulty
E – Eye changes
F – Face drooping
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech slurred
T – Time to call 911
There are numerous risk factors for stroke including age, genetics, gender and race, which cannot be controlled. However, there are several factors that increase the risk the stroke and can be controlled, including:
- High blood pressure
- Alcohol consumption and illegal drug use
- Unhealthy diet
- Abnormal cholesterol
The stroke team at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital provides rapid access to stroke care with specialty expertise and written care protocols to provide individualized attention for patients. Click here to learn more.