Five Things to know about strokeDon't waste another minute. Learn more about how to stop a stroke.
Although strokes are common events – one occurs roughly every 45 seconds in the United States – they aren't a pleasant topic on which to dwell.
More than a quarter of all strokes are fatal, according to the American Society of Neuroradiology. And as many as 30 percent of those who survive a stroke will be seriously disabled.
That is why it's not enough to recognize the obvious signs of stroke. A quick response is absolutely critical for achieving the best case scenario. Check out these five facts about stroke that can help you make the right call at the right time.
- Stroke is the No. 1 cause of long term disability
By far, the majority of stroke patients survive but do not regain the same level of independence. Disability is directly related to how much of the brain cell area is damaged by the stroke. The longer a stroke is allowed to go on, the more brain cells die, and the lower your chance for a good outcome.
- Stroke is a treatable condition
Some strokes can actually be stopped by using powerful medications or high-tech devices. PeaceHealth Southwest is among a number of hospitals nationwide that uses tPA, a blood clot buster medication, which must be administered within three short hours from the start of stroke symptoms.
- A Comprehensive Stroke Center is best equipped for treating strokes
In addition to the availability of tPA, Comprehensive Stroke Centers also use medication injected right into the clot or even surgically remove the clot—both are treatments which extend your window of opportunity by a few hours. The key to a better chance for success is getting to a Comprehensive Stroke Center soon after symptoms begin. In this region, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is the area's only Comprehensive Stroke Center.
- Strokes are usually painless
As much as 85 percent of the time, a person having a stroke does not experience pain. That is why people often ignore the symptoms and do not react quickly to call for help. With high stakes and a short time frame for treatment, your best bet is to call an ambulance. Stroke patients who arrive at a hospital by ambulance have the advantage of a Stroke Team waiting for them.
- Mini Strokes are a Red Flag
Mini strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) are brief episodes of stroke symptoms which resolve on their own. They should not go untreated. If you experience a TIA, you have a much higher risk of having a stroke, and most strokes occur within just two days of the TIA. TIAs must be treated right away. You should be evaluated to find the reason for the TIA, placed on medication, and educated about lifestyle changes to help lower your risk of having that pending stroke.