Every 40 seconds someone experiences a stroke.
May is stroke awareness month and the Genesis stroke department is doing what they can to prevent it.
High blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke and preventing it is the easiest way to avoid a stroke.
An ischemic stroke is when an artery in the brain gets blocked off. There are two ways this happens said Dr. Bryan Bjornstad of Genesis Healthcare System.
“One is when there is progressive narrowing in one of the arteries and they pinch off and it blocks the blood flow to that part of the brain. Alternatively you can have clots that can break loose from the heart or elsewhere and travel downstream to the brain and land in the artery and block off the blood vessel and cause a stroke that way,” said Dr. Bjornstad.
Some symptoms of stroke are sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, speech dysfunction, vision impairment and walking disturbance.
Some people don’t have any signs or even sleep through symptoms. The best method to prevent strokes are to avoid tobacco use, monitor blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. It’s also recommended you have regular checkups with your primary care physician.
“I think it’s an important month because it brings attention to not just the healthcare community but the community at large about the importance of stroke, what stroke is, what to do when you see signs and symptoms of a stroke and how to manage that. We want to try to educate the community as much as we can because sometimes people just pass off their symptoms to see if they go away in a day or so but we want them to come to the hospital right away,” said Dr. Bjornstad.
If you experiece someone having stroke-like symptoms it is best to call 911 immediately.