Jay Volpi, M.D., a neurologist at The Methodist Hospital, will be joining Dr. Galati tonight to discuss the importance of understanding the early warning signs of stroke.
 
On March 7, 2011, The Methodist Hospital will be sponsoring annual Stride 4 Strokes Awareness 5K run/walk, supporting greater understanding of stroke.
 
  • On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States, and someone dies of a stroke every three to four minutes. Each year, about 780,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
  • Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States. Strokes cost the nation an estimated $65.5 billion in 2008.
  • Stroke deaths in the greater Houston area are twice as high as the national average, and Texas is one of the 10 states within the "stroke belt."
  • More than 80 percent of stroke patients have ischemic strokes, where a clot causes an obstruction in an artery leading to the brain, restricting blood flow.  A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.  The interruption deprives the brain of blood and oxygen, causing brain cells to die and injuring the brain.
  • "Time is brain" - Time lost is brain lost. The only FDA-approved clot-busting drug, tPA, must be administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms. Effective stroke treatment involves a coordinated, multi-disciplinary rapid response system, such as the one at Methodist's Eddy Scurlock Stroke Center.
  • If you notice any of the following stroke warning signs, call 9-1-1 and ask emergency medical personnel to take you to a hospital with a primary stroke center:
    • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;
    • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;
    • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
    • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and
    • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
  • Alternatively, the FAST method is an easy way to assess stroke symptoms.  Share this information with those you know and you could help save a life:
    • Face - Does one side of the face droop? Ask the person to smile.
    • Arm - Does one arm drift downward? Ask the person to raise both arms. 
    • Speech - Does their speech sound slurred or strange? Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
    • Time - If you observe any of these signs, it's time to call 9-1-1.