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Patient Education and Prevention

Stroke

Click Here to Take Our Stroke Quiz

A stroke is a brain attack caused by a clog in an artery, interrupting blood flow to the brain. There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes happen when arteries become clogged with blood clots or plaque. Hemorrhagic strokes happens when a blood vessel in the brain breaks, leaking blood into the brain.

Preventing a Stroke

Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. The best way to prevent a stroke is to know the risk factors and how to manage them. The Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute recommends patients work with their doctors to manage controllable risk factors.

Risk Factors

  • Being over age 55
  • Being male
  • Being African American, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander
  • Having a family history of stroke
  • Having a previous stroke or TIA (mini-stroke)
  • Having fibromuscular dysplasia
  • Having a hole in the heart
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having atrial fibrillation
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Having diabetes
  • Having atherosclerosis
  • Having circulation problems
  • Using tobacco and smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being obese

What You Can Do

  • Know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If they are high, work with your physician to reduce or manage them.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Eat a low-sodium, low-fat diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Find out if you have other health conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, and talk to your physician about how to manage it.

Warning Signs of a Stroke

Did You Know?

Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, increasing the chance of brain damage, disability and death. Therefore, it’s critical to get help fast.

Anyone, at any age, can have a stroke. The National Stroke Association says: Act F.A.S.T. to save a life.

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 drift downward?

S = Speech
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?

T = Time
If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately. If administered with three hours of the first sign, there is a “clot buster” medication that can greatly increase outcomes.

Click Here to Take Our Stroke Quiz