May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an estimated 795,000 strokes happen in the United States every year. With a stroke occurring approximately every four seconds in the U.S., it is important to know the signs and symptoms that precede a stroke so that preventative measures can be taken.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. This cuts off the oxygen supply to the brain, which, if left untreated, can result in permanent brain damage and even death. Other ailments that afflict stroke victims include paralysis, difficulty speaking, impaired vision, pain in the limbs and numbness. Because it is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of what leads to a stroke.
“Most people do not realize that 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented if they’re detected early,” said Jonathan Hodgson, D.O., medical director of the Medical Stroke Center at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. “That’s why it is so important to educate the community on how they can promote awareness and prevention efforts pertaining to strokes.”
One of the most common symptoms of an impending stroke is weakness of an arm or leg, numbness of the limbs or face, particularly on one side of the body. Other signs include difficulty speaking, dizziness, confusion and loss of coordination. If you or someone you’re with experiences any of these symptoms, it is very important to call 911 right away. This can prevent long-term debilitations, so don’t hesitate!
Demographic factors such as family history, ethnicity and gender can make you genetically predisposed to having a stroke. However, these odds are easily lowered by keeping yourself healthy. The best way to ensure that you will not suffer a stroke is to take care of your body and lead a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eating well, exercising regularly, managing cholesterol and blood pressure and not smoking will decrease the odds of having a stroke significantly.
“We are committed to aiding our patients in leading active, fulfilling lifestyles,” said Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers. “We will continue to build on our history of providing the highest level of stroke services we can to the communities we serve.”
Join us for these free stroke events:
Free stroke risk assessment screening includes: carotid artery screening; blood pressure and pulse check; fasting glucose and cholesterol blood check; counseling for those at moderate to high risk for stroke; and educational seminars throughout the event.
•When: Saturday, May 18 from 8 a.m. to noon
•Where: Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, 3555 S. Val Vista Dr., Gilbert 85297
•RSVP: Appointments required. Please call ResourceLink at 1-877-728-5414 to schedule.
Dignity Health HealthSpan Speakers’ Bureau – Stroke Awareness and Prevention
Learn about your chances for having a stroke and the controllable factors that can reduce your risk.
•When: Wednesday, May 22 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
•Where: Mercy Gilbert Medical Office Building, 3420 S. Mercy Rd., Gilbert 85297
•RSVP: ResourceLink at 1-877-728-5414
For additional information on strokes, please visit ChandlerRegional.org or MercyGilbert.org.
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