National Stroke Awareness and High Blood Pressure Awareness Month

What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. Brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. A stroke can cause you to permanently lose speech, movement and memory.

Stroke statistics:

  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of adult disability.
  • Every 40 seconds on average, an American will have a stroke.
  • About 795,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke annually.
  • About 90% of stroke risk is due to modifiable risk factors — 74% is due to behavioral risk factors.

Prevent stroke by:

  • Identifying your personal risk.
  • Reducing your controllable risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Recognizing and responding to the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

Use the letters in FAST to recognize the warning signs of a stroke:

  • Face drooping: Smile. Is your smile uneven or lopsided?
  • Arm weakness: Raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty: Repeat a simple sentence. Can you correctly repeat the words?
  • Time: Time to call 911. Time is important, so don’t delay!

How is a stroke diagnosed and evaluated?

  • CT of the head: A CT of the head can detect a stroke from a blood clot or bleeding within the brain.
  • MRI of the head: An MRI can detect brain tissue damaged by a stroke and highlight blood flow within the arteries and veins.
  • Carotid ultrasound: The ultrasound shows the inside of the carotid arteries in your neck, highlighting buildup of fatty deposits, or plaques, and blood flow in your arteries.

Make sure you act FAST!

NorthwestRadiology.com