Stroke is a brain injury that occurs when the brain's blood supply is interrupted. Symptoms of stroke can happen when either a blood clot blocks one of the vital blood vessels in the brain (ischemic stroke) or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures (hemorrhagic stroke).
When someone has a stroke, almost two million brain cells die every minute until blood flow is restored. Without oxygen and nutrients from blood, brain tissue starts to die rapidly, resulting in sudden loss of function.
Left undiagnosed or untreated, it can result in serious and debilitating injury or loss of life.
The American Stroke Association (ASA) uses B.E.F.A.S.T. as an easy way to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke. Remember:
Balance: Watch for sudden loss of balance.
Eyes: Check for sudden vision loss or double vision.
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Even more daunting, every four minutes, someone dies of stroke.
While these statistics are intimidating, there are several actions you can take to prevent or lessen your risk of stroke. These include making healthy living choices and controlling any health conditions you may have.
Kent Hospital offers a 24/7 accredited acute stroke treatment program, providing a team-centered, multi-disciplinary approach to quality care based on the American Stroke Association clinical practice guidelines which includes coordinated timely interventions, treatments, and rehabilitation.
The Kent Hospital Stroke Specialty Rehabilitation unit, which is approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), provides acute inpatient rehabilitation therapy as well as outpatient rehabilitation. If you are searching for additional resources, information on rehabilitation services and other programs can be found online at kentri.org/services/stroke.