Today, October 29th is World Stroke Day, which was established to help spread public awareness of the world's high stroke risk and stroke prevalence. It is also a good time to remind our legislators why we need to create a strong stroke system of care in the Commonwealth.
While stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and leading cause of disability in the U.S., many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. We have made a lot of progress, but we still have a ways to go and need your help! If you learn and share the F.A.S.T. stroke warning signs (F-face drooping; A-arm weakness; S-speech difficulty; T-Time to call 911) with your friends and family, you may save a life, possibly yours. Why? Because spotting the warning signs and calling 9-1-1 immediately can lead to quick stroke treatment and may even save a life.
Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without oxygen‐rich blood, brain cells die. Patients should seek immediate medical treatment by dialing 9‐1‐1 at the very first sign of stroke, even if the symptoms go away. Stroke is a leading cause of long‐term disability in the U.S. and a leading cause of preventable disability. Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. On average, every four minutes, an American dies from stroke. But we know we can stroke is preventable, treatable and beatable, with your help!
Massachusetts has a chance to be a leader in stroke by ensuring that our primary stroke service hospitals are delivering the care that they have promised to do. When we make sure that patients are getting to the hospital in quickly after having a stroke, we need to make sure that we have a strong stroke system of care.