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Stroke, also known as a brain attack, occurs when a blood vessel that supplies the brain with oxygen and nutrients is blocked or broken. Each year, more than 700,000 people in the United States have a stroke. In fact, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Despite the high numbers of stroke, people in the United States have a difficult time recognizing the following symptoms of stroke:
In a survey of 71,994 adults in the United States, 43.6% of the people correctly identified all five stroke symptoms and 38.1% knew all stroke symptoms and would call 9-1-1 if they thought someone was having a stroke or heart attack. However, only 16.1% of the people who answered the survey knew all stroke symptoms, knew to call 9-1-1 and also knew that sudden chest pain or discomfort was NOT a warning sign of a stroke.
Although most strokes occur in people who are more than 65 years old, everyone should know the warning signs of a brain attack. In the United States, approximately 54% of the deaths caused by strokes occur outside of a hospital. We all need to be able to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and know what to do (call 9-1-1).
Signs of Stroke
References and more information:
Copyright © 1996-2008, Eric H. Chudler, University of Washington