The Executive Office of Health and Human Services indicates stroke as the third leading cause of death in the United States. National Stroke Awareness Month, initiated by former President George Bush in 1989, is designed to encourage awareness of stroke, its warning signs and tips for prevention. Read on, because the life you save could be your own.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. Most strokes (about 80%) are caused by a sudden blockage of arteries leading to the brain (ischemic stroke); others are caused by bleeding into brain tissue when a blood vessel bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). Because a stroke occurs rapidly and requires immediate treatment, it is also referred to as a brain attack. A stroke has many consequences, including brain damage or even death. Learn more with this Stroke 101 Fact Sheet from the National Stroke Association.
Identify the Warning Signs
Early detection of stroke symptoms is paramount to recovery. A great trick to remembering the signs of a stroke is the pneumonic FAST which stands for: face, arm, speech, and time.
- Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile
- Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms
- Speech: Does the speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a phrase
- Time: If you observe these symptoms act FAST and call 9-1-1
Additional symptoms may include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms, or legs
- Sudden confusion, or trouble speaking or understanding others
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance/coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Some risk factors for strokes are out of your control, but according to Stroke.org, up to 80% of all strokes are preventable. Below find tips to reduce your risk, and of course, always consult with a healthcare professional.
- Prevent or control high cholesterol and high blood pressure
- Prevent or control diabetes
- Avoid tobacco and second-hand smoke
- If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet
Consider spreading awareness of stroke this May with ideas from the National Stroke Association.
Adopting in Massachusetts: How to Apply posted on Apr 28
Whether you have struggled to have a child or always planned to adopt, choosing to adopt is an incredible gift for your family and a child in need. Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Massachusetts have experienced loss and hardship, and just …Continue Reading Adopting in Massachusetts: How to Apply
National Teacher Appreciation Day: Become a K–12 Teacher in Massachusetts posted on Apr 26
May 3 is National Teacher Appreciation Day, in honor of teachers across the country who work so hard to educate and inspire our children. It’s also the day that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) will announce the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year …Continue Reading National Teacher Appreciation Day: Become a K–12 Teacher in Massachusetts
Submit Your Photos for the 2017 Massachusetts Agricultural Calendar posted on Apr 21
This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR). If you are a recreational photographer who enjoys capturing images of agriculture — whether it’s farm scenes, animals, or delicious produce — join MassGrown and Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom (MAC) …Continue Reading Submit Your Photos for the 2017 Massachusetts Agricultural Calendar