Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S. Each year, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. will have a stroke. Women face a higher risk of stroke, with one in five women will have a stroke. Nearly 50% of men have high blood pressure, which could increase their risk of stroke.
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke. An easy way to remember the signs of stroke and what to do if you suspect someone is having a stroke is BEFAST.
Balance: Sudden loss of balance (dizziness/not able to walk straight).
Eyes: Sudden vision changes (double vision or loss of vision in one eye).
Face: Is one side of the person's face drooping?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Is the person's speech slurred or strange?
Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Remember, every second counts in a stroke. Call 911 immediately.
Stroke Support Group
What: A weekly gathering for adults with difficulty communicating following a stroke or brain injury and for their caregivers to receive ongoing education and engage in therapeutic activities. This group is facilitated by a Speech-Language Pathologist.
When: Every Wednesday from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
From the time you or a loved one calls 911 about a stroke, Norman Regional's Stroke Center is ready to treat your stroke in a timely manner because we know every second counts after having a stroke. Starting with the ambulance ride, EMSSTAT alerts the hospital of your expectant arrival. From there, the Emergency Department and Stroke Center staff await your arrival so they can seamlessly continue your treatment from the ambulance ride through each process in the necessary treatment plan of a stroke patient.
Our multidisciplinary approach allows us to best care for the stroke patient and ensure the best possible outcome.
Risk Factors for Stroke:
You can control and improve these risk factors either with lifestyle change or prescribed treatment:
- High blood pressure - Leading cause of stroke and the most significant controllable risk factor for stroke. The successful treatment of hypertension contributes to the current decline in stroke-related deaths.
- Obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity
- High blood cholesterol
- Carotid artery disease
- Peripheral artery disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Other heart disease: coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart valve disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Sleep apnea
- Alcohol and drug abuse
These risk factors are not within your control, but knowing them may motivate you to work harder on those that you can change:
- Age: the risk of stroke doubles every 10 years after age 55
- Prior stroke, TIA or heart attack
- Family history of stroke
- African American, Native American and Hispanics have a higher risk of stroke due partly to the higher prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes
- Women have more strokes and are more likely to die from a stroke than men
- Geographic location: strokes are more common in the southeastern US. Oklahoma is one of the so-called “ stroke belt” states
Signs and symptoms:
- Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis of your face, arm or leg, usually on one side of your body
- Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden blurred, double or decreased vision
- Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination
- A sudden, severe headache or an unusual headache, which may be accompanied by a stiff neck, facial pain, pain between the eyes, vomiting or altered consciousness
- Confusion, problems with memory, spatial orientation or perception
If you or someone you are with experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency care immediately by calling 911.