June Wellness Focus: Stroke
When the blood in any part of your brain stops flowing, this is called a stroke. But different kinds of strokes occur depending on what causes the blood flow to stop.
In an ischemic stroke, plaque buildup in the wall of an artery causes a blockage or clot. This blockage can occur in a brain artery or in an artery in a different body part which then breaks off and travels to the brain. If the clot is small and only briefly blocks the artery, this is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Although a TIA causes no lasting damage, it’s a warning that a more serious stroke could occur; it is still a medical emergency.
In a hemorrhagic stroke, an artery in the brain opens, and blood leaks into the brain. High blood pressure weakens arteries over time, so it is a major cause of hemorrhagic strokes.
Strokes can affect the body in many ways, and the effects can range from mild to severe. The severity depends on many factors including the following.
• stroke type
• location in the brain
• size of damaged area
• amount of time that blood flow stopped
• amount of time before hospital treatment
The Heart and Stroke Foundation identifies the following signs of stroke, which require FAST response.
FACE: Is it drooping?
ARMS: Can you raise both?
SPEECH: Is it slurred or jumbled?
TIME: Call 911 right away.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of these stroke signs, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
For more information on strokes, read the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Stroke page.
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