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.
Carpooling and Ride Share Options in Massachusetts posted on Oct 22
Every year, each commuter in the Commonwealth produces 62 pounds of carbon monoxide, 9 pounds of hydrocarbons, and 5 pounds of nitrogen oxides, according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Cars, trucks, and buses produce approximately 40 percent of all air pollutants. In …Continue Reading Carpooling and Ride Share Options in Massachusetts
National Down Syndrome Awareness Month posted on Oct 17
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome according to the National Down Syndrome Society. The disease affects a child’s physical development, language, and cognitive skills. Massachusetts participates in Down …Continue Reading National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
National Teen Driver Safety Week posted on Oct 16
Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be exciting for teens, but a worrying experience for parents. While driving safely is a responsibility for all motorists, teen drivers are more prone to high-risk behavior behind the wheel. According to the most current data …Continue Reading National Teen Driver Safety Week