Each year, 780,000 Americans suffer a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Yet many Americans do not know the symptoms or what to do when they witness someone having a stroke.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Brain cells die when deprived of oxygen and nutrients provided by blood. Because stroke injures the brain, if you are having a stroke, you may not realize what is happening. To a bystander, the signs of a stroke are distinct:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (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 or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
In treating a stroke, every minute counts!
Treatments are available that greatly reduce the damage caused by a stroke. Knowing the symptoms of a stroke, making note of the time of the first stroke symptoms, and getting to the hospital quickly - within 60 minutes if possible - can save you, or someone you know, from serious long-term disability.
If you witness someone having a stroke, call 9-1-1!
Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics are trained to recognize and care for stroke patients in a timely manner - but first you have to summon them by calling 9-1-1 when there is a sudden onset of...
Making changes in your lifestyle can help prevent stroke. Risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart Disease
- History of Stroke
- High Cholesterol
- Being Overweight
Discuss the risk factors for stroke with your Physician. Additional information is available by calling 1-800-352-9424 or visiting:
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department