you are here: home > inthenews > stroke awareness

Neuroscience For Kids

Stroke Awareness: Just Learn It!
May 12, 2008

brain attack 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:

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body).
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

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.

brain attack 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