ALAMOSA —The community is now more aware of the signs and risk factors associated with stroke thanks to the second lunch seminar of 2019 from SLV Health.
Kay Bone, APRN, MSN, BC and Dr. Mugabe Walker shared some of the basic information related to this health risk at the SLV Health Conference Center on Thursday.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. There are also approximately seven million survivors of stroke across the country. A stroke happens every four minutes. Furthermore, strokes are more common than heart attacks.
Bone noted that a stroke is literally a “brain attack.” There are two different types of strokes: Ischemic and Hemorrhagic. The first is caused by plaque in the blood vessels, and the second is bleeding in the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are much less treatable. However, Bone was quick to point out that eighty percent of strokes are preventable.
There are uncontrollable risk factors such as age, gender, race and family history. There are also many factors that can be controlled such as a healthy diet and exercise. An individual’s health history is also a key factor. Bone observed that someone who has had a condition such as hypertension, heart disease, atrial fibulation, diabetes, etc. is at a greater risk for a stroke.
Bone pointed out that the most effective way to look for signs of a stroke is to use the acronym, FAST. The F stands for Face drooping. The A stands for arm weakness. The S stands for speech difficulty. The T stands for time to call 9-1-1. Bone explained that if these symptoms are noted, the individual showing them should be taken to the hospital as soon as possible.
Bone also explained that when a stroke happens, the quicker medical attention is sought, the better. She noted that when a stroke happens, the medical staff usually tries to gather as much information as possible, assess the symptoms to determine the type of stroke and treat accordingly. The presenters also noted that there is an often an extensive rehabilitation process that comes in the aftermath of a stroke. Bone left the audience with a few key points 1) stroke is a brain attack 2) time is brain 3) FAST 4) strokes are preventable. She suggested the National Stroke Association, the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health as sources for further information.