May - Stroke Awareness Month. When is too late, too late?
Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and leading cause of disability in the United States. Always remember FAST:
What is a stroke? A stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die. 80 percent of strokes are preventable.
Vital for recovery is recognizing the symptoms and seeking treatment within 3.5 hours of symptoms starting. If treatment is within the first 3.5 hours, a drug called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) is given through an IV to dissolve the clot and improve blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow. If treatment is put off past the critical 3.5 hours, the drug cannot be used. The Okeene Municipal Hospital has this drug on hand if ever needed.
According to hospitalnews.com, 39 percent of all stroke patients arrive at the hospital more than 12 hours after symptoms begin. To save more lives, the symptoms of stroke need to be known by all age groups, not just the older generations. BE FAST!