WORLD STROKE DAY: WHAT IS A STROKE?
One in six people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and accounts for ~800,000 strokes a year. About forty percent of stroke deaths occur in males and 60% in females.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.
The acronym FAST can help you remember the symptoms to look out for. Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911. Time is of the essence when someone has a stroke so as soon as you recognize the signs, get medical help immediately. If given within a certain window of time, clot-buster medications can limit stroke damage.