A stroke occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain (or in the brain) is blocked by a clot, or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, and it starts to die.
Stroke is a leading cause of death, premature mortality, and serious, long-term disability in Maine and the U.S. It is the fourth leading cause of death in Maine and the U.S.
On average, there was one stroke death every 14 hours in Maine in 2009. Additionally, Maine had the 35th highest stroke death rate among all 50 states and D.C., but among all New England states, Maine had the highest stroke death rate. (The Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in Maine 2012- www.mainehearthealth.org)
It is important for you to know the symptoms of stroke so you can react quickly if someone has a stroke.
Know the Symptoms, it could save a life
Early recognition of stroke symptoms is critical –Time Lost is Brain Loss.
Stroke symptoms include sudden:
· Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg
· Slurred speech
· Blurred vision
· Dizziness or loss of balance
· Severe headache
Rapid treatment by emergency medical providers is important to survival and recovery.
At any sign of stroke: Call 911 immediately
Lower your risk of having a Stroke
You can help protect yourself and loved ones from stroke by knowing the risks and taking these steps:
- Know your ABCS
- Ask your doctor if you should take Aspirin every day
- Find out if you have high Blood Pressure or Cholesterol, if you do, work with your doctor to treat it
- If you Smoke, get help to quit
- Be physically active at least 30 minutes on most days
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and other foods low in sodium and trans fat
- Take medicine as prescribed by your doctor
For more information:
- American Stroke Association: http://www.strokeassociation.org/
- Maine CDC Cardiovascular Health Program Website at www.mainehearthealth.org; or contact Tina Love, CVH Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org