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Renville County Farmer
P.O.Box 98
Mohall


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EMS Corner
MAY IS STROKE
AWARENESS MONTH

You’re sitting at the table with your entire family as you do every Sunday. Your family is talking and laughing, when your son turns to you and asks “What did you think of the game last night?” You know what you want to say but when you try to speak the words won’t come out. When you are finally able to speak, the words are incorrect. The left side of your body becomes numb….You’ve had a stroke.

Unfortunately this is all too common. About 795,000 people have new or recurring strokes each year, which means a stroke occurs, on average, every 40 seconds. Strokes kill around 129,000 people per year and are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Strokes are the sixth leading cause of death and the leading cause for admission into long term care facilities in North Dakota. Governor Dalrymple has proclaimed May as American Stroke Awareness Month in North Dakota. The North Dakota Department of Health is working to raise awareness about stroke prevention and recognition during the month.

The most common signs and symptoms of a stroke are:

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

· Sudden confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding.

· Sudden difficulty with vision in one or both eyes.

· Sudden loss of coordination, difficulty walking, dizziness, or loss of balance.

· Sudden severe headache with no other known explanation.

If you note any of these signs in yourself, a friend, or family member, or even a stranger, it is very important that you call 9-1-1 immediately. Time is of the essence during a stroke as the longer the brain is deprived of oxygen and glucose, the more damage is done. The F.A.S.T acronym is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 right away.

F – Facial Droop – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the individual to smile, is it uneven?

A- Arm Drift – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise their arm, does it drift downward?

S- Speech – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence such as “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T- Time- If you note any of these symptoms, even if they have gone away, call 9-1-1 and get them immediate emergency assistance. Note the time so you know when the symptoms first appeared.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off, either due to a blood clot or if there’s bleeding in the brain. Advancements in medicine have greatly improved the survival rate in the past decade. But the chances for survival and reduced deficiencies are even better if the stroke is recognized and treated immediately.

Recognition of a stroke is extremely important, but prevention is even more important. Strokes can occur in all age groups, though they commonly occur in older generations. 80% of strokes are preventable, and prevention starts with you. The top risk factors for stroke are high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, atrial fibrillation, and physical inactivity. More than half of all strokes are caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure.
More risk factors are:

· Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, prior stroke, high cholesterol, older than 55, gender (male), family history, obesity, and excessive alcohol use.

Please take the time to share this information with your family and friends. A stroke can happen any place, any time, and to anyone.

Noting that there is something wrong is the first step to getting help. The faster the individual can get emergency care the better, just remember, “Time is Tissue.”






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