To help raise awareness of the United States's 4th deadliest killer the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are observing World Stroke Day today.
According to the American Heart Association, even though strokes are largely preventable, treatable and beatable, every 40-seconds someone somewhere in the U.S. suffers a stroke.
Facts on strokes provided by Ryan Johnson, Director of Communications of the American Heart Midwest Region show that one in six people will experience a stroke in their lifetime and every six seconds someone dies from a stroke. Strokes happen across the planet with 15 million strokes reported worldwide that claim nearly 6 million lives annually. In addition, statistics show that African-Americans have nearly twice the risk for a first stroke over their Caucasian counterparts.
Johnson says the most important, controllable risk factor for the disease is high blood pressure, which can be controlled through diet, exercise and medication.
Recognizing stroke warning signs and calling 911 during a stroke emergency to get the stroke victim into immediate treatment at a hospital is crucial to surviving a stroke.
It is also extremely important that the hospital's attending emergency room physicians have been specially trained by the American Heart Association's standards to look for signs of stroke.
Ryan says a Region woman who suffered a stroke in 2002 felt a sharp pain in her neck and then her right arm started to hurt and after a while the woman did not want to talk and could not open her eyes.
According to Ryan, she was rushed to ER where a CT scan showed no signs of a stroke but the attending doctor, who received special stroke training from the AHA, ordered an MRI which showed she suffered a stroke. and says the woman has recovered and is a stroke survivor who works to spread the message about stroke.
To help better the odds of surviving, the American Stroke Association has fashioned the acronym "F.A.S.T." to remember stroke warning signs, "F" for face drooping, "A" for Arm Weakness, "S" for Speech difficulty and "T" for Time to call 911 for any of those symptoms--even if the symptoms go away.
According to the National Stroke Association's website that fewer than 20-percent hospitals of major hospitals are stroke certified, but Ryan says northwest Indiana is an exception citing Methodist Hospitals. Methodist is the recipient of the American Hear Association and the American Stroke Associations' "Get With the Guidelines Stroke Gold Performance Achievement Award."
The award is given to hospitals who put into practice a higher standard of stroke care be ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment for at least 24 months according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations including aggressive use of medications t Pa, antithrombotics, anticoagugulation therapy,DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation.
FREE STROKE SCREENINGS
Methodist hospital is partnering with the American Heart Association in offering FREE stroke screenings. The first screening will be held on Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at their Midlake Campus at 2269 W. 25th Avenue in Gary and two other free screenings at Methodist Hospital's Southlake campus at 200 E. 89th Avenue in Merrillville.
The screening includes heart attack and peripheral artery disease risk assessments,and a stroke screening with blood pressure and carotid bruit checks. Registration is required. Call 1-888-909-3627. More information about stroke as well as heart disease is available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG.