Posted: Nov 21, 2012 7:11 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
Updated: Nov 21, 2012 7:13 PM
A campaign to raise awareness of strokes and how to identify a person having a stroke has launched in Montana.
Mike McNamara heads the Cardiovascular Health Program for the state, and noted, "Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and the fifth leading cause of death in Montana."
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Brain cells die from lack of oxygen, causing paralysis, loss of speech, and even vision.
McNamara explained, "A stroke is disruption of blood flow in the brain, either by a blood clot or by a vessel breaking and bleeding into the brain."
That's why knowing the signs of stroke is so critical.
The MT Department of Public Health & Human Services says that delaying treatment can be deadly in the event of stroke.
In as little as four minutes, brain cells begin to die, so it is imperative to call 911 right away.
MT DPHHS says that the best treatment for stroke must begin within three hours from the start of symptoms. Treatment can include a drug that breaks up blood clots and prevents further brain damage. Patients who arrive by ambulance receive faster care because the hospital can prepare before the patient arrives."
Anna Whiting Sorrell, the director of MT DPHHS, noted, "Recognizing stroke symptoms and acting fast are critical to help save lives and prevent permanent impairment.
Stroke warning signs include:
Sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg usually affecting one side of the body
Sudden loss of balance or coordination
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden vision problems or severe headache with no known cause
Visit StrokeAssociation.org for more information, or call 1-888-4-STROKE.