Did you know that every year, nearly 14,000 Canadians die from stroke. And every year in Canada, there are over 50,000 new strokes—that’s one stroke every 10 minutes. About 300,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke. Canadians spend a total of three million days in hospital because of stroke every year.
A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens in one of two ways:
- Ischemic stroke—when the blood supply to the brain is blocked
- Hemorrhagic stroke—when a blood vessel in the brain bursts
A stroke causes brain tissue to die, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and death.
Signs of Stroke
- 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
- Call 9-1-1 right away if you or someone else has any of these symptoms.
Acting F.A.S.T. Is Key for Stroke
When someone is having a stroke, every minute counts. Just as putting out a fire quickly can stop it from spreading, treating a stroke quickly can reduce damage to the brain. If you learn how to recognize the telltale signs of a stroke, you can act quickly and save a life—maybe even your own.
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:
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 the speech slurred or strange?
T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.
You can greatly reduce your risk for stroke by watching your weight, managing your blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol, drinking alcohol in moderation, quitting smoking, and regularly exercising. And if you have a family history of stroke or heart disease, see your physician for regular check-ups.
A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Lauralee or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.