Stroke Awareness Month

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Personalized Cause supports Stroke Awareness Month with red awareness ribbons.

About Stroke Awareness Month and Personalized Cause

Personalized Cause® awareness ribbon company specializes in custom awareness ribbons. We are the #1 source for personalized awareness pins in the United States. We offer a vast color assortment of awareness ribbons and awareness wristbands. In addition, we write this blog to raise awareness for causes. We encourage medical and social knowledge and empower you to take what you learn here to make a difference where you can.

Red Ribbons Support Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke is a terrible, awful, no good disease. If you’re thinking, a stroke isn’t a disease, you’re not alone there. Most people think of it as an event, like a heart attack, more than a disease. It is in fact classified as a disease, though.

What is a Stroke?

So what exactly is a stroke? A stroke affects the brain. Strokes occur when blood vessels or arteries in the brain become blocked or clogged by a clot. Or, as a result, the blood vessel ruptures. When a blood vessel (or artery, from now on when I refer to blood vessel, that includes arteries) becomes clogged or blocked by blood clot, pressure builds behind the clot. The body continues to pump blood, causing the pressure behind it to build. That pressure eventually becomes strong enough to force through the wall of the blood vessel.

Whether the clot causes a rupture of the blood vessel, or blocks off the blood flow, problems occur. This includes causing the brain to stop receiving oxygen and nutrients through that pathway. When the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, its cells begin to die.

As a result, brain damage occurs, and permanent damage can be done. This is the reason that Stroke is the #5 cause of death in the United States. It is also one of the top causes of disability. Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke, and every four minutes someone dies of a stroke. They can happen to anyone, and at any age. That includes during childhood. However, as many as 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. Also the severity of the damage that is caused by a stroke can be dramatically reduced if the warning signs are recognized and the person gets treatment immediately.

Not all strokes are the same. There are hemorrhagic strokes and ischemic strokes. Lets take a closer look at each of them.

Learning About Hemorrhagic Strokes

Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood clot (also known as an aneurysm) bursts, or causes a leak. Think of a pipe. If a blockage occurs in a pipe, one of two things will happen. Either the pipe will burst, or the pipe will slowly leak. The buildup of pressure from the excess blood in the brain (from the burst or leak) results in swelling and pressure in the brain. When swelling or pressure build up in the brain, it damages the cells and brain tissue. Only about 15% of strokes that occur are hemorrhagic, however, they account for approximately 40 percent of deaths caused by a stroke. They’re less common, but they’re more dangerous.

Two Kinds of Hemorrhagic Strokes

There are two kinds of hemorrhagic stroke. They are intracerebral and subarachnoid strokes. The first and most common kind of hemorrhagic stroke is intracerebral hemorrhage. This kind of stroke is most commonly caused by high blood pressure and weakened blood vessels due to age. But, it can also occur because of a genetic condition that causes an abnormal connection between arteries and veins in the brain or spine. This condition is called AVM, or arteriovenous malformation. It can be treated. Intracerebral hemorrhage is when the blood leaks or pools in the brain, causing cell death and the affected area of the brain stops working. The second kind of hemorrhagic stroke is the subarachnoid stroke. This occurs in the area between the brain and the tissue that covers the brain. It is most commonly caused by an aneurysm that bursts.

Ischemic Strokes

Next up, the ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when the affected blood vessel is blocked. The blood clot that creates the blockage prevents blood from traveling to where it needs to go in the brain. When the blood is prevented from reaching parts of the brain, the cells die. Ischemic strokes account for the vast majority of all strokes.

Blood Pressure and Stroke

Blood pressure is the biggest cause of this type of stroke. These types of stroke can happen in two ways, called embolic and thrombotic. An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot or plaque builds up in another area of the body, typically the heart, and makes its way through the blood vessels into the brain. Because the blood vessels get smaller as they move into the brain, the clot or plaque buildup eventually reaches a point where it gets stuck and can’t move any further. This causes an ischemic stroke. A thrombotic stroke occurs when the blood clot develops inside one of the arteries leading to the brain. Thrombotic strokes are usually caused by high cholesterol or atherosclerosis.

FAST – The Trick to Remembering Stroke Symptoms

There is a trick to remembering symptoms to identify in a stroke. It’s called “act FAST.” A lot of people panic in emergency situations and don’t remember what they’ve learned. If you identify these symptoms, call 911 immediately! The faster medical attention is received, the better the outcome will be.

F- F stands for face. Is the person experiencing facial drooping? Ask them to smile to assess.

A- A stands for arms. Have the person raise both arms out in front of them. Are they able to keep both arms level?

S- S stands for speech. Ask the person to repeat a sentence or phrase to you. Do they sound strange or are they slurring?

T- T stands for time, as in there is none to waste. So, if the person is exhibiting any of the symptoms above… call 911, as fast as humanly possible.

Record the Time

It is also important to write down what time the first symptom or signs appeared. Think back on the day. Did the person experience any unusual muscle weakness, or perhaps fall? Try to remember if anything unusual happened. Write it on your arm, text it to yourself, repeat it to yourself over and over like a mantra until the paramedics arrive. The timing can determine some treatment options and decisions.

There are two versions of awareness pins for stroke. Red awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for stroke, but there is a special pin designed to raise awareness for childhood stroke (or pediatric stroke.) Purple and blue awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for pediatric stroke.

Stroke Awareness Ribbons

Here are links to both of the custom awareness pins. Find red custom awareness pins for stroke here (the red awareness ribbon).

For custom awareness pins for pediatric stroke (the purple and blue awareness ribbon), visit us here.

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