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What You Need to Know About Strokes

Published by 4Hope on 2004/6/23 (3571 reads)
Information about stroke...

Each month ElderHope does two short tapings for the thrice daily Community Focus segment on KEOM88.5FM (don't you just love using words like thrice). We are in a rotation with a number of other community based organizations. This month Barb did her segment on strokes. This is the script for that segment.

What You Need to Know About Strokes
KEOM & ElderHope
Taped Live on April 22, 2004 at the KEOM studios.


Dr. Griffin: I understand that today’s topic is about strokes, Barb.

Barb: Yes, Dr. Griffin – on a professional level, I see the enormous impact that strokes have on patients, their families, and the healthcare system in the U.S. each year. On a personal level, my father died from the results of a stroke and a friend’s parents have both suffered strokes recently and I know how devastating and painful it can be for everyone touched by this disease.

Dr. Griffin: So what should our listeners know about strokes?

Barb: Specifically, I wanted to talk about what a stroke is and the different types of strokes, the impact of strokes in the U.S., describe the warning signs of a stroke, and provide some contact information for your listeners to get even more information about strokes.

Dr. Griffin: That sounds great, Barb. So, our listeners may want to have a paper and pencil at hand to jot down that information that you’ll provide.

Barb: Absolutely. I want to begin by saying that I’m not a doctor, however, the information that I’m providing can be found through reliable sources, in literature and the internet. A stroke is one type of cardiovascular disease. Strokes can occur when a blood vessel is blocked by a clot or if it bursts. Because some part of the brain is then unable to get blood and oxygen that it needs through that blood vessel, that portion of the brain begins to die. The most common type of stroke is caused by a clot in an artery – this is called an ischemic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures, causing blood to leak into the brain.

Dr. Griffin: How many people are effected by strokes each year in the U.S., Barb?

Barb: According to the American Stroke Association, someone has a stroke in the U.S. about every 45 seconds. It is the 3rd leading cause of death and about 700,000 Americans will have a stroke this year. About 4.8 million stroke survivors are living today with varying types and levels of disabilities relating to their stroke. One way to reduce these numbers is for more people to understand the earliest warning signs of a stroke, while keeping in mind this one single point: time is of the essence! Rapid early treatment offers the greatest chance of recovery for a person who has had a stroke. Again, from the American Stroke Association, signs of a stroke are:
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or problems understanding;
Sudden problems with vision – trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination;
Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If a person experiences these symptoms, call 911! Don’t wait! There are medical treatments that can reduce or prevent the damage from a stroke but these need to be started quickly – even within 3 hours of the person’s first symptoms.
Dr. Griffin: That’s all important information, Barb. Where else can folks get more information about strokes?

Barb: The American Stroke Association is a great place to start. Their phone number is 1-800-242-8721 and their website is StrokeAssociation.org. Another organization is the National Stroke Association, 800-787-6537 – Stroke.org. These organizations also have many resources and information for caregivers of persons who have had a stroke. If you are unsure about symptoms you may have experienced in the past, talk with your personal physician. She or he can better assess your health status.

Tags: apoplexy   stroke   hypertension  

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