Today is World Stroke Day and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is highlighting how important rehabilitation is for stroke survivors. Worldwide, stroke is the No. 2 cause of death and is a leading cause of long-term disability. Stroke is more disabling than it is fatal. However, stroke is largely beatable through high-quality rehabilitation and patient support and implementation of the Association’s Rehabilitation Guidelines.
Stroke rehabilitation can:
- Help survivors regain independence
- Lower chances of another stroke
- Build strength, capabilities and confidence
In the United States, about 800,000 strokes occur every year. That means every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke. But an estimated 80% of first-time strokes can be prevented. By managing high blood pressure and cholesterol, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, you can lower your stroke risk factors.
If you suspect a loved one has suffered a stroke, it is critical to act FAST. The acronym represents the most common stroke warning signs:
- Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
- Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- 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.”
- 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 to a hospital immediately. (Tip: Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.)
For more information and a full list of the stroke warning signs, visit www.StrokeAssociation.org/WorldStrokeDay.