Everything You Need To Know About Stroke

May is National Stroke Awareness Month.  According to the CDC, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year.  Stroke is considered a leading cause of death in the US. On average, 1 American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.  “Recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke is vital,” says Karen Davidson, CareOne’s Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations.  “If you recognize the signs, you can seek immediate medical assistance which reduces the risks of disability and death.”

How can you tell if someone is having a stroke?

F – Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

A – Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S – Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T – Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

What are the signs and symptoms of stroke?

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

What questions should you ask the doctor?

  1. Why do you suspect that I or my family member may have had a stroke?
  2. What kind of stroke do you think occurred?
  3. What is a mini stroke?
  4. Will stroke rehabilitation therapy be necessary? If so, will rehabilitation involve physical therapy, speech therapy, and/or occupational therapy?

What do you need to know about caring for someone who has had a stroke?

  1. Immediately after a stroke, it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed, fearful, and uncertain about your new role as a caregiver.  These emotions may be a result of your loved one’s severely limited physical functioning and personality changes.
  2. Ask questions.  What type of stroke did your loved one have? What side of the brain was affected?  What caused the stroke?  How can another stroke be prevented?
  3. Reach out to family and friends and talk to them about what you are experiencing. Visits, phone calls, e-mails or some shared time at a movie or restaurant can go a long way to help you feel supported, rejuvenated, and refreshed.  Build a support network with other stroke survivors and caregivers.     
  4. Take Time for yourself. Eat a balanced nutritious diet. Learn about how you can maintain good eating habits and help prevent stroke and heart disease.
  5.  Consider seeking professional healthcare services.

For more information about CareOne’s stroke recovery programs, please call 1-877-99-CARE1 (22731).

May 23, 2014 | Posted by CareOne | Filed in Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , ,