May is Stroke Awareness Month!
Welcome back, everyone! You know what time it is. Time for another awareness blog post! I hope everyone’s had a nice week since our last post. I, for one, had a pretty uneventful week, which is exactly what I wanted so that I could catch up on some chores. Boring, I know, but it’s gotta get done, and I feel so much better now. So, that means I get to write this week’s blog without the laundry staring me down! It’s the little things in life that make you happy. Anyway… this has nothing to do with anything, and there’s no way you care about any of this, so, I’ll get to it already.
This week’s awareness blog topic is a repeat, but the information is all new, and different from the other post. Sometimes, these duplicate topics are a really good way for me to convey more information than I’m able to in a single post. As I’m sure you know, it’s impossible to fit everything about a topic into a single post, so these additional posts allow me to get some different information to you and dive more in depth to the topic. So, without further blabbering…
Today’s topic is Stroke. I’ve chosen to write about stroke, again, in honor of Stroke Awareness Month, which is observed every May in the United States. I’m going to use this week’s post to relay some important statistics about stroke to you. If you’re interested in reading all the basics, scroll down to our original stroke post.
Ready? Here we go!
• Did you know that one out of every 20 deaths in the U.S. is caused by a stroke? That’s a pretty high number considering all the gazillions of things that can kill you. That means that annually, more than 130,000 people die from a stroke. • The above statistic leads me to this next one, which is… Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. • Almost 800,000 people suffer a stroke. Of the nearly 800,00 people who have strokes, over 600,000 of them are first time strokes. With strokes, once you have one, your chances of having another are higher. This makes taking care of yourself and addressing your risk factors extremely important. The goal is to avoid having any other strokes. The second or third strokes become much more dangerous, and carry a higher potential of death. • Related to the statistic above, the remaining number of people who suffer a stroke are people who have already had at least one other stroke previously. That means around one in four stroke victims have already had a stroke. • Many people do not die from their first stroke. Every 40 seconds that pass, somebody suffers a stroke; But, every four minutes that passes, someone dies from a stroke. This means that there are a fairly large number of people out there who are living with the consequences of a stroke. This leads me to my next statistic. • Stroke is the leading cause of disability (long-term or permanent disability, not short-term disability) in the United States. These patients can no longer work, or will miss a significant amount of work while recovering. • Over half of stroke victims over the age of 65 lose some portion of their mobility, making them dependent on wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or caretakers. • Guess how much the United States spends on the associated costs of stroke every year. Here’s a hint; it’s a lot! Somewhere in the ballpark of a whopping $33 billion (yes, billion with a “b”) is spent annually on things like healthcare services, missed work or unemployment, and medications needed to treat the stroke, and more. • The vast majority of the type of stroke that people have is called are called ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes are when the blood flow to the brain becomes blocked and prevents blood from circulating to the brain, which can cause serious damage to the tissue of the brain. The exact estimate (I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but an exact-exact number is difficult to find) of ischemic strokes that occur out of the total of strokes is 87%. That is an extremely high number, which means that risk factors that lead to this type of stroke may be common. If nearly 87% of strokes are ischemic, doesn’t it make sense that we should all evaluate our risk factors that could one day lead to us having a stroke? I think so! The problem is that people often don’t deal with things until they become a problem. The dangers of doing this with things that could lead to a stroke are that you may never be able to fully get back what you lose to a stroke. People lose their ability to walk, talk, feed themselves, bathe themselves, or care for themselves at all. What I’m trying to get at is: if you wait for it to become a problem, it’s already too late. So, I cannot stress the importance of annual physicals enough. Knowing your risk factors, and seeing when it’s time to make changes to your life are the most important things in order to prevent a stroke from happening (aside from actually implementing those lifestyle changes). • Strokes can occur at any age! Children can and do have strokes, however, your risk for having a stroke generally increases as you get older. In any given year, the percentage of people that suffer a stroke who are over the age of 65 is around 60%. • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are common causes of stroke, and the scary part is that two thirds of the U.S. population has at least one of these conditions or habits. • Ethnicity does affect your risk for stroke. o Stroke risk for African Americans is twice as high as Caucasians, and they are more likely to die from it. o Hispanic people’s risk for stroke lies between the risk of Caucasians and African Americans. o The groups with the highest risk for stroke are African American, Native American, and Native Alaskan. • Less than 40% of people who have already experienced a stroke knew all the major symptoms to look for. • People who were treated in the emergency room within 3 hours of their first symptoms of the stroke have the best outcome, and experience less disability three months after than those who do not get to the emergency room immediately. Keep in mind that strokes can cause significant impairment so experiencing disability three months out is normal. Some people never fully recover. Some will spend years in rehab. When treated early, the outcome for stroke patients often improves greatly, as opposed to those who wait to seek medical attention.
That’s a lot to take in, I know, but I just want to go over one last thing before I finish.
The trick to remembering and spotting the symptoms of a stroke is the acronym FAST.
F – stands for face. Ask the person to smile. Is their face symmetrical or does it droop on one side?
A – stands for arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?
S – stands for speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Do they slur when they speak, or repeat the sentence in a strange way, perhaps with different words?
T – stands for time. If any of these symptoms, or a combination them, occurs, call 911 immediately! Getting to the emergency room as fast as possible is critical in minimizing damage. Do not wait to see if symptoms improve.
Also, just a little tip, being taken by ambulance can be better than driving the person to the ER. This applies to all emergent situations. You bypass the waiting room when you’re brought by ambulance. The ER will still try to get you in as fast as possible if you report chest pains, or show signs of a stroke. The best way to make sure you are seen ASAP is to be taken by ambulance. Just something to consider if you suspect something potentially life threatening may be happening.
That’s all for now! Thanks so much for reading, and I sincerely hope you never have to use any of this information. If you’re a new reader, give this short description of who we are and why we’ve started our awareness blog a quick skim.
Personalized Cause runs this awareness blog. Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory company based in the United States. We specialize in custom awareness ribbons, which are a product unique to our company. Personalized Cause is the only company in the country to offer our customers the ability to personalize any color awareness ribbon they choose, with a name, date, phrase or message. Our custom awareness ribbons are a beautiful way to show support, raise awareness, or be an advocate for your cause. The thing that makes our custom awareness ribbons so popular is the fact that you do not have to buy in bulk. In fact, we have no order minimum for a custom awareness ribbon. We also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric awareness ribbons, and silicone wristbands. So, if you’re interested, give our products a look. Our entire line of products is very affordable. Custom awareness ribbons are less than 10 bucks. Pretty cool, huh?!
Personalized Cause started this awareness blog in order to help raise awareness for all different sorts of causes out there, using our website as a platform. We are all about awareness, and helping others to raise awareness for the causes that matter to them. We also wanted to take it upon ourselves to raise awareness on behalf of causes that are observed every month in the U.S., or internationally. So, we started this blog to hopefully educate our readers on the various issues affecting so many. You may not be affected by every topic, but you will probably encounter someone who is. We want to make our reader’s knowledgeable, sympathetic, understanding and accepting members of society.
Strokes are represented by a red awareness ribbon. To order a custom red awareness ribbon, visit:
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