According to the American Stroke Association, "stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain is blocked and the brain can't get the blood or oxygen it needs". The month of May is used by the Stroke Association as a way to promote a new "Together to End Stroke Initiative" with important reminders for everyone.First, having a stroke does not discriminate. Anyone can have a stroke no matter what their age including middle aged adults, teens, and children. High blood pressure is public enemy number one for stroke, which means we should do a better job lowering ours with diet and exercise. A stroke can affect everyone but African Americans are at an increased risk. A stroke is largely treatable today through medication and devices like stent retrievers.
The American Stroke Association suggests that understanding the acronym FAST allows people to understand what to look for such as face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty. Time is critical and that why it is important to call 911 immediately.
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.