Although a common occurrence, strokes are preventable. The following actions can reduce the likelihood of having a stroke:
- Know your personal risk factors (i.e., high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, or a history of transient ischemic attack or previous stroke).
- Engage in physical activity regularly.
- Avoid obesity by keeping to a healthy diet.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Avoid cigarette smoke and, if you smoke, seek help to stop now.
- Learn to recognize the warning signs of a stroke, and call 9-1-1 right away if someone appears to be having a stroke. With timely care and support, most stroke survivors can recover and regain their quality of life.
Most patients experiencing stroke are hospitalized and monitoring and treatment continues with nursing and other healthcare professionals trained in stroke care.
Rehabilitation and follow-up care helps to restore functions lost as a result of stroke. The human brain is highly adaptable and patients can learn new ways of functioning.
Health professionals at St. Mary Medical Center conduct free stroke assessments periodically throughout the year. Call 215.710.5888 to be put on a notification list for the next Stroke Screening. "Brain attack" or stroke remains the nation's third leading cause of death as well as a leading cause of disability.
A personal risk assessment includes:
- Personal stroke-risk history
- Blood pressure screening
- Check for erratic heart rate
- Carotid bruits
- Informative literature from the American Heart Association