Jodi Whitaker

Every Minute Counts For Stroke Victims: Learn To Recognize The Symptoms

Published: May 14, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 14, 2013) — The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-leader on Sunday, May 12, 2013.
 
By Dr. Jessica Lee
 
May is National Stroke Awareness Month so it’s a good time to review the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
 
In the United States, approximately 795,000 people will have a stroke annually. And the numbers of stroke are not decreasing, even with advances in medical science.
 
Part of the reason is due to our aging population. Age is the biggest risk factor for a stroke, but unfortunately not something we can control. However, there are many other risk factors for stroke that we can control.
 
Probably the greatest risk factor overall is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is not always something that you feel, so it is very important to see your doctor regularly and have your blood pressure checked.
 
Some people think that as you get older, having a higher blood pressure is normal. That is simply not true. A normal blood pressure is less than 130 over 80. We know that lowering blood pressure has a significant impact on lowering the risk of stroke.
 
Smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes also increase stroke risk, as do obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Heart disease is another risk factor.
 
There have been several public health studies asking participants about their awareness of stroke signs and symptoms. In most cases, fewer than 30 or 40 percent could identify even one warning sign of a stroke
 
Some of those warning signs can be:

 

Sudden numbness or weakness affecting one side of the body

Slurred speech, trouble forming words or understanding what other people are saying to you

Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, or sudden double vision

Sudden room-spinning vertigo or sudden acute headache

 

Most people think pain is a symptom of stroke, but unlike heart attacks, most strokes do not hurt.

 

Many times, when people have sudden weakness or numbness, they think they have slept wrong or have just “overdone it.” So they wait for those feelings to disappear. Stroke sufferers cannot afford to wait. For every minute there is loss of blood flow to the brain, about one million brain cells are lost.

 

   Those first minutes and hours are critical. It is important to get to the hospital as soon as possible, and ideally, to one that specializes in stroke care. Hospitals have intravenous, clot-busting drugs that can <?xml:namespace prefix = owc />  help re-open blood vessels and restore blood flow to brain arteries.

 

In comprehensive stroke centers, specialized, state-of-the-art treatments are available. In some cases, a mechanical clot retriever inserted through a catheter breaks up the clot. In others, medications are delivered directly to brain arteries.

 

While some stroke sufferers experience a degree of disability, the vast majority experience some recovery from it. Rehabilitation is very important for return of function, and the sooner the better.

 

Doctors previously thought stroke sufferers only had a short time to recover from a stroke. In reality, we now know that recovery continues beyond a year or more, and the more you work on it, the better you get.

 

Dr. Jessica Lee is medical director of the stroke program at UK HealthCare. 

lee_jessica.jpg
August
 
 
 
 
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Wrapped Art
Sun
4
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
5
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
6
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
7
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
8
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
9
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
10
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
11
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
12
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
UK Working Moms Connection
Tue
13
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Wed
14
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
15
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
16
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
17
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
18
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
19
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Tue
20
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Wed
21
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Thu
22
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Midnight Dodgeball Tournament
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
Parent and Families Reception
Residence Hall Floor Meeting
Off-campus Freshmen Check-in
K Team Meeting: K Week Kick-off
Death By Chocolate
Fri
23
Employee Educational Assistance Award
A Parent's Guide to Life after August 23
Campus Safety Information Session
Donut Avoid The Study
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 1
See Blue...See Community
Succeeding in A Large Lecture Classroom
Horses, Bluegrass, Basketball, and More: Welcome to Kentucky
Success at Any Age: College Tips for Adult Learners
Write Right: Tips for Writing Well in College
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 2
How to Graduate in Four Years
Parental Involvement in Fraternity and Sorority Life
Parents Watch for Warning Signs: Suicide Prevention for College Students
Preparing to be a Pre-Professional
Presentation U!: Where YOU are the Ultimate Presentation
Religious Life at UK
Successful Off-Campus Living
The Transfer Student Cruise: Navigating your way through UK
UK Parking & Transportation 101
You Heard It Here First: Tips From A Faculty Member
New Student Induction Ceremony
Minority Student Welcome
Transfer Student Cookout
K Team Meeting: K Week Overview
Men's Soccer vs. Georgia State
Big Blue U
Campus Ruckus
Campus Ruckus
Sat
24
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Jackass 3
LNFS Presents: Godzilla
Pedalpalooza
K Team Meeting: Lunch and Campus Tour
Center for Community Outreach: Do Good, Start Here.
UK Lex-Mart
Alternative Service Breaks: See the World, Change the World
From the Real World to the Amazing Race, Don't Wipeout: Your Advisor, Advising, and You
Blackboard Basics
Student Government Association Information Session
EMPOWER: Women’s Leadership Retreat Interest Session
Student Center Spectacular
Student Center Spectacular
Sun
25
Employee Educational Assistance Award
UK FUSION
UK Parking & Transportation 101
University of Kentucky Association for Transfer Students Interest Session
Candy, Condoms, Coffee
Cleaner, Healthier, Cheaper, Faster: Why Bicycling is the Best Way to Get Around Campus (and how to do it safely)
Working on Campus
K Team Meeting: Dinner with your K Team
Meijer Mania
Mon
26
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Last Day to Drop a Course with 100% Refund
Chem at UK Cafe-N-OJ with the Student American Chemical Society
Coffee (or Coke), Cookies, & Communication!: Come see blue. at Presentation U!
Don't Blow Yourself Up: Surviving Chemistry
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
OMG! Did I Just E-Mail That to My Professor???
Surviving Your First Year and Beyond: Strategies To Do Well in Your Classes
Sustainable UK: Exploring Environmental Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CAFE)
A User Guide for Your Mathematics Class
Discover the UK Art Museum
K Team Meeting: Common Reading Experience Discussion
Common Reading Introduction for International Students
Transfer Student Meet and Greet
We Are UK
Rec 'N Roll 2014
Big Blue Bingo Night
Mic Check
Tue
27
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
LNFS Presents: Jurassic Park
First Day of Classes
Campus Outreach
Opening Act: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Wed
28
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Her
LNFS Presents: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Student Involvement Fair
OrgSync Info session
LGBTQ* Welcome Back
Dive Into Diversity!
Residence Hall Floor Meetings
Thu
29
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Sea of Blue
One Last Beach Bash: RSA Block Party
LNFS Presents: Team America: World Police
Pills and Pizza
K Week Event: Pills and Pizza
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Wichita State
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Francis Marion
Fri
30
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Neighbors
The Tailgate "Kick-Off"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Butler
Kentucky Football vs. UT-Martin
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Virginia Tech
Sat
31
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ohio
Men's Soccer vs. Belmont
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wed, 08/20/2014

Reset Page