Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, causing brain tissue damage and loss. Stroke symptoms usually happen suddenly and can include:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg-especially on one side of the body
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause
If you are experiencing these symptoms, please call 911.
The Medical Center of Aurora has a stroke alert program to provide patients with quick and effective stroke treatments. In 2009, The Medical Center of Aurora was designated a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. Primary Stroke Certification is currently the highest level of stroke certification available and is the gold standard for stroke care.
Statistics (From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association):
- Stroke is the third most common cause of death, ranking behind "diseases of the heart" and all forms of cancer.
- Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.
- 700,000 people have a new or recurrent stroke each year (200,000 of those are persons with recurrent stroke).
- Approximately 50,000,000 Americans have high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke.
Risk Factors - Changeable Factors:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Heart disease
- Artery disease
- Cocaine abuse
- Alcohol use
- High red blood cell count
- Physical inactivity or obesity
Risk Factors - Non-Changeable Factors:
- African-American ethnicity
- Age greater than 65 years
- History of stroke
- Sickle cell disease
Things you can do to help prevent a stroke:
- Be faithful with annual health physicals
- Know family history (hereditary traits)
- Stop smoking
- If diabetic, check blood sugar before each meal and at bedtime to monitor and maintain safe blood glucose levels
- Have cholesterol checked yearly
- If you have high blood pressure, monitor it daily
- Increase your exercise
- Eat a low fat, low cholesterol American Heart Association diet