Southwest Health District says strokes can strike anyone at any time | Families
ALBANY, GA - News release from Southwest Public Health District
Strokes can strike anyone, at any time or any age and regardless of gender, education or occupation, warns Southwest Health District. And every four minutes, a stroke claims another life.
“In the United States, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death,” said Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.
“It kills more than 133,000 people each year. It is also a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.”
Grant said approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year. Further, African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-time strokes than Caucasians.
“While the annual stroke death rate fell from 1998 to 2008 approximately 35 percent, the actual number of deaths fell by 19 percent,” Grant said. “And there are roughly 7 million stroke survivors over the age of 20 in the U.S.”
It is vital to remember that a stroke is an emergency, she added. “It is a brain attack that cuts off blood flow and oxygen to the brain,” Grant explained.
“Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of brain damage, disability or death. Recognizing symptoms and acting fast to get medical attention can save lives and limit disabilities.”
Using the American Stroke Association’s “FAST” test is a good way to remember the warning signs of stroke.
· F = Face Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
· A = Arms Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift down?
· S = Speech Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the speech slurred or strange?
· T = Time If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 9-1-1 immediately.