- Health Information
- Current Topics
- Stroke Awareness
In 2022, 25% of people arriving at our local hospital with stroke symptoms came in time to receive treatment. Our goal is to increase that to 40% by the end of 2023. Please join us in this effort!
Learning the signs of a stroke can save lives and reduce stroke-related disabilities. This short video will teach you how to recognize signs of a stroke in yourself or those around you, and what immediate actions you should take.
- Stroke 101
- Signs & Symptoms
- Who Has Strokes?
- What Can You Do?
- Stroke Prevention
- Stroke Smart Frederick County
- Resources & Materials
A stroke is an injury to the brain. To understand stroke, it helps to understand the brain. The brain controls our movements, stores our memories, and is the source of our thoughts, emotions, and language. The brain also controls many functions of the body, like breathing and digestion. To work properly, your brain needs oxygen.
When something happens to block the flow of oxygen to the brain, the brain cells are damaged. This causes a stroke. For example, if the blood flow is blocked in the area of the brain that controls language, then that person would have difficulty talking or understanding what is being said.
Some new treatments can reduce stroke damage if you get medical care soon after symptoms begin. When a stroke happens, it is important to recognize the symptoms, call 911 right away, and get to a hospital quickly so that treatment can help.
If you or someone you know experiences the symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately. Every minute counts. Remember, BE FAST, call 911!
It all comes down to knowing how to spot a stroke….The key is to…. BE FAST!
B stands for Balance – Is there a sudden loss of balance or dizziness?
E is for Eyes – Is there sudden change in vision?
F is for Face – Is one or both sides of the face suddenly drooping?
A stands for Arms – Is there sudden weakness or numbness in the arms?
S is for Speech – Does the person have sudden trouble speaking, or confusion?
And T stands for Time – If you notice any one or more of these signs, it is Time to call 911.
Remember, BE FAST, call 911!
What should you do, if you or someone you know, is exhibiting signs of a stroke?
- Call 911 as soon as you suspect stroke.
- Do not drive yourself or the stroke victim
- Note the time when symptoms began
Did you know...
- In the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds.
- Every 4 minutes, someone in the United States dies of a stroke.
- Nearly 75% of strokes occur to people who have NOT already had a stroke.
- Stroke is the leading cause of serious-long-term disability in our country.
- Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. and it is the 3rd leading cause of death in Maryland and Frederick County (in 2019).
A stroke can happen to anyone, regardless of race, sex or age.
- Some individuals are more likely to have a stroke due to habits and choices that impact our personal health, such as smoking.
- Some people have health issues that increase their risk of stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or being obese.
- Some individuals are more likely to have a stroke due to their gender, race, and age.
- We know that structural and social racism plays a role in increasing the chance of a stroke.
- Data also shows us that people older than 65 years of age are more likely than younger people, but it's important to note that 1 in 5 strokes occur in people under 55 years of age.
Regardless of who is at higher risk, it's important to remember that strokes can happen to anyone, anytime, any age.
The good news is that many of these factors are controllable! Talk with your health care provider to discuss how you can take steps to reduce your risk.
1. Learn the signs and symptoms of a stroke and watch for them, in yourself and the people around you.
2. Be ready to call 911 if you see signs of a stroke in yourself or someone else. BE FAST, call 911!
3. Take steps to reduce your risk of a stroke. Check out our tips on the "Stroke Prevention" tab.
Up to 80% of strokes are preventable! If you know your stroke risk, you can take steps to reduce your risk. Risk factors for stroke that we can control include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes or high blood sugar, high cholesterol, obesity, and atrial fibrillation.
Here are some healthy behaviors that will minimize your risk of stroke:
- Know your blood pressure! If it's high, you can lower your blood pressure through diet, exercise and medication.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and fat-free or low fat dairy products. Limit foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and sugar.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if your weight is in a healthy range for you.
- Stay active. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise (brisk walking, water aerobics, bicycling) for at least 150 minutes per week.
- Quit smoking. Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. If you need help quitting, call 1-800-Quit-Now. This is a free confidential service that offers both phone and text cessation help 24/7.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure and the risk of stroke.
There are certain stroke risk factors we cannot control, such as age or genetics.
- The risk of having a stroke increases with age
- If your parent, grandparent, sister or brother has had a stroke you may be at greater risk
- Structural and social racism plays a role in increasing the chance of a stroke
- People who have already had a stroke, TIA, or heart attack have a higher risk of having a stroke. 1 in 4 people who have a stroke will have another stroke in their lifetime.
Resources and Materials
- If you are interested in getting stroke awareness materials such as posters, brochures, or magnets for your business or community group, you can find them here for free.
- If you would like to order amounts larger than 10, you can email your order request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the education material you are requesting and the amount needed
- The Spanish poster shown below is available here for you to print and use.
- Maryland Stroke Smart Resource Center
Want to get involved?
If you are part of a community group that would like to get involved in Stroke Smart, contact us.
More than 7 million stroke survivors live in the United States. Life after stroke is a family affair including the survivor, loved ones, and caregivers. Every stroke survivor is unique and affected differently so rehabilitation, recovery, and support tools should be geared to the individual. Recovery is life-long and involves physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects.