It can happen suddenly and unexpectedly and it can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time. In fact, it happens so quickly that you won’t know it is happening until it already is. Suddenly you might notice a person’s face drooping or a weakness in their arms.
And sometimes, it can be as subtle as the slurring or jumbling of one’s speech. What I am referring to is what is known as a stroke, or to put it simply, a brain attack. There are two main types of strokes; ischemic and hemorrhagic.
An ischemic stroke is very similar to a heart attack, except it takes place in the blood vessels of the brain. Clots form in blood vessels (literally anywhere in the body) and can eventually travel to the brain, where the clot will block the flow of blood. A hemorrhagic stroke on the hand occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures. And in the event you happen to be a bystander, it is important for you to know that time is of the essence when dealing with a stroke victim. According to Dr. Amer Quershi, an internal medicine specialist at Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital in Stephenville, who has spent the last two years involved with brain stroke care - acting fast is everything.
Modern medicine has provided us with some incredible and live saving tools, however, it order for them to work and be most effective, they need to be administered quickly. According to Quershi, 4 out of 5 stroke victims can be significantly helped if they are brought into the hospital for clot-dissolving medication; known as fibrinolytic drugs. The only catch is, in order for those drugs to work, they need to be dispensed within 3-4 of the stroke. Each year, there are approximately 795,000 people who suffer from a stroke; with about 600,000 of those being for the first time. Stroke is also the third leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 140,000 dying each year as a result. To put it into perspective, strokes account for roughly 1 out of every 17 deaths in the US. However, there are things that a person can do to increase the likelihood of a full recovery - as long as they act fast. While stroke is in and of itself a very scary and potentially fatal occurrence, it is important to note that even with survival, a stroke can completely change the lives of not only the victim, but of their loved ones as well. That is why it is so important to be made aware of the signs of a stroke, so that you can act fast and ultimately help mitigate the damage if not save a life.