Canton, Ohio: Stroke affects more than 700,000 Americans each year. These “brain attacks” can leave lasting physical and behavioral changes and even affect a person’s ability to communicate and swallow.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel either bursts or is blocked by a blood clot, restricting the flow of oxygen to the brain. According to the American Stroke Association, within minutes to hours of a stroke, brain cells begin to die because they stop getting the oxygen and nutrients needed to function. There are three types of stroke:
- Ischemic Stroke – This is the most common type of stroke, which is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain.
- Hemorrhagic – This is the least common type of stroke, which is caused by a blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain.
- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – This type of stroke is defined as a neurologic deficit that has a complete clinical resolve within 24 hours. TIAs are also known as a mini stroke or stroke warning.
If you’ve had a stroke, your risk of having another one is higher than the stroke risk of someone who hasn’t had one. By controlling all the risk factors, you can reduce that risk. If you have already experienced a stroke, minimize your risk of having another one by getting good nutrition, find ways to stay as physically active as possible (within your limitations), strictly follow your doctor’s and pharmacist’s orders, receive quality care through an accredited and recognized program like Mercy’s Stroke Center, and control risky conditions. These risky conditions include atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure – the leading modifiable risk factor in ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Stroke victims may need physical, occupational and/or speech therapy to begin their road to recovery.
At Mercy Stroke Center, our caring therapists and clinical personnel will be with the patient (and the patients’ families) each step of the way. In addition to our comprehensive and individualized therapy and rehabilitation program, Mercy Stroke Center also offers the Lucky Stroke support group – a free community support group to help survivors move forward on the road to recovery. For more information about the Lucky Stroke support group, call 330-489-1333 or 800-223-8662
Knowing your risk and controlling what you can is the best defense against having a stroke. To take an interactive Stroke Quiz and test your knowledge, log onto Mercy Medical Center’s web site (www.cantonmercy.org) and click on “Online Health Library”.
Mercy Stroke Center
Mercy Stroke Center has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers and is an American Heart Association “Get with the Guidelines – Stroke” designated center which aligns treatment with the latest scientific guidelines. From rapid diagnosis and treatment at Mercy Emergency Department to an inpatient rehabilitation center and educational and support groups, Mercy Stroke Center can help. For more information, call Mercy Medical Center at 330-489-1000.
Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see cantonmercy.org.
*This news release is the last in a three part series to help the community understand the risk factors, signs, symptoms, types and recovery options regarding stroke during May, Stroke Awareness Month.