Stroke awareness is critical to save livesPublished 5:58am Saturday, May 5, 2012
Stroke is the fourth-leading killer of Alabamians, claiming nearly 3,000 lives in our state each year.
As an advocate for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, I want to do everything I can to help bring those numbers down.
Everyone needs to understand what stroke is, what the symptoms are and what to do when a stroke occurs.
Now is the perfect time to share facts about strokes, since May is National Stroke Month.
A stroke happens when a part of the brain is denied blood and oxygen, causing the brain tissue to die. This can happen as the result of blocked or busted blood vessel.
There are five common symptoms that tend to appear suddenly: numbness on one side of the body, loss of vision in one or both eyes, trouble standing or maintaining balance, inability to speak or understand and an intense headache.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, you have to call 9-1-1 immediately.
Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke. It is the number one cause of permanent disability in Alabama. Caring for stroke patients costs the state roughly $540 million per year.
It is imperative for our health and well-being that we do a better job understanding, recognizing and treating stroke.
I urge you to share this information with a loved one and to visit strokeassociation.org for more information. With a just a little education, we can save countless lives.
American Heart Association/
American Stroke Association volunteer