May is Stroke Awareness Month

May is Stroke Awareness Month. The National Stroke Association offers lots of information on recognizing, treating and preventing strokes:

• Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die.
• 87% of strokes are classified as ischemic. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or a mass blocks a blood vessel, cutting off blood flow to a part of the brain.1
• A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel, or cerebral aneurism, ruptures, spilling blood into the brain. Like ischemic stroke, a major cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled hypertension.
• A cryptogenic stroke is a stroke of unknown cause. About 1 in 3 ischemic strokes fall into this category.
• A TIA (transient ischemic attack) is often called a “mini stroke” or “warning stroke”. The difference between a TIA and a stroke is that the blockage is transient, or temporary. Symptoms are exactly the same as stroke, but usually last less than five minutes. Even if symptoms go away, emergency help should be called immediately.

Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke. Stroke patients who receive treatment within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost three times more likely to recover with little or no disability. To evaluate a case for disability, please call us.

Here is some good information on recognizing stroke symptoms: