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
July
 
 
 
1
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Wed
2
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Thu
3
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Fri
4
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Sat
5
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Sun
6
 
Mon
7
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Fulbright Drop-In Hours
Tue
8
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Fulbright Drop-In Hours
Wed
9
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Fulbright Drop-In Hours
Thu
10
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Fri
11
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Sat
12
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Family Day At The Art Museum
Sun
13
 
Mon
14
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Tue
15
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Wed
16
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Thu
17
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Lecture: On Furniture
Fri
18
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Sat
19
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Sun
20
 
Mon
21
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Tue
22
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Wed
23
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
MoveWell Grand Opening
Thu
24
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Fri
25
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Sat
26
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky
Vivian Maier: On the Street
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Other Streets: Photographs from the Collection
Sun
27
 
Mon
28
 
Tue
29
Educator Social
Wed
30
 
Thu
31
 
Fri
 
Jul 29
Educator Social 07/29/2015

Wed, 07/29/2015

Fri, 08/07/2015

Fri, 09/11/2015

Wed, 09/23/2015 - Thu, 09/24/2015

Reset Page