Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke. In 2008 alone, more than 133,000 Americans, or one person every four minutes died from a stroke, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
A stroke occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood to the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Although many people think of a stroke as a condition that affects only older adults, strokes can and do affect people of all ages. A quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than age 65.
Each year, almost 800,000 strokes occur in the United States, leading to serious, life-changing complications. The sooner a patient receives medical treatment, the lower the risk for death or disability. Protect yourself and loved ones, and know the signs of a stroke. If you or someone you know exhibits the following signs or symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Signs of a Stroke:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance and coordination.
- Severe headache with no known cause.
Getting immediate medical attention for a stroke is crucial to preventing disability and death, so don’t delay—dial 9-1-1.