Symptoms can help identify onset of stroke

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports stoke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

On average one American dies from a stroke every four minutes. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing brain tissue to die.

In order to understand a stroke fully, let's break down things about the brain.

The brain controls movement, memory and the foundation of our thoughts, emotions and language. In order to complete this task, the brain needs oxygen. If something happens to interrupt the flow of blood, brain cells start to die within minutes because they can't get oxygen.

A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability or even death. It is very important to note there are different types of stroke. The main types of stoke are Ischemic stroke, Hemorrhagic stroke, and Transient ischemic attack (a warning or "mini-stroke").

About 85 percent of strokes are Ischemic stroke. When an ischemic stroke occurs the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked. In most cases blood clots often cause blockage that leads to ischemic stroke.

Another type of stroke is hemorrhagic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures (breaks open). The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them"

A Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is sometimes called a "mini-stroke." It is different from the major types of stroke because blood flow to the brain is blocked for only a short time -- usually no more than five minutes.

"The most effective stroke treatments are only available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within three hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for the most effective treatments if they don't arrive at the hospital in time.

It is very important to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke. When it comes to someone having a stroke, every minute counts.

Signs of a stroke include:

* Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm,or leg, especially on one side of the body.

* Sudden confusion, trouble speaking,or difficulty understanding speech.

* Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

* Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination.

* Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If you think someone is having a stroke, acting FAST can help stroke patients get the quick treatment they need.

F -- Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A -- Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S -- Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

T -- Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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Upcoming Events

Oct. 6 -- Putnam County Master Gardener Association education program and meeting

Oct. 12- Columbus Day, Extension Office closed.

Oct.18-21 -- Indiana Extension Homemakers Week.

Oct.22 -- Forest Management Twilight Tour, Hillsdale, 5 p.m. RSVP to 765-492-5330.

Oct. 22 -- Putnam County Second Annual Career Fair, Putnam County Fairgrounds 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Oct. 23 -- Healthy Hay and Grazing Workshop, Bloomfield, 8 a.m. RSVP to 812-659-2122.

Nov. 1 -- Putnam 4-H Member Achievement and Volunteer Recognition program, 2 p.m., Fairgrounds.

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