Strokes Can Be Prevented

Published on April 25, 2016

Strokes Can Be Prevented

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. On average, one American dies from stroke every four minutes. However, up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain stops. There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.

  • Ischemic stroke is caused when plaque or clots block a blood vessel in your brain or neck. It is the most common type of stroke.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke is caused when a vessel in your brain breaks causing bleeding in the brain.

Risk Factors

  • Advanced age: most strokes occur in people age 65 years or older, but they can occur at any age
  • Family history of stroke
  • Ethnicity: African-Americans have a higher stroke risk
  • Gender: women have more strokes than men, and stroke kills more women than men
  • Being overweight
  • Prior stroke or heart attack
  • Medical conditions: blood pressure levels, atrial fibrillation, cholesterol levels and diabetes
  • Lifestyle choices: tobacco use or smoking and alcohol use

Reduce Your Stroke Risk

You can take steps to help lower your stroke risk:

  • Know your blood pressure. If high, work with your doctor to lower it.
  • Ask your doctor if you have atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • If you drink alcohol, no more than two drinks per day.
  • Find out if you have high cholesterol. If so, work with your doctor to control it.
  • If you are diabetic, work with your doctor to control your diabetes.
  • Include exercise and physical activities you enjoy in your daily routine.
  • Enjoy a lower salt, lower fat diet.
  • Ask your doctor how you can lower your stroke risk.

Act FAST to Recognize Stroke Symptoms

To assess whether you or someone you love is having a stroke, Act F.A.S.T.

F – Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A – Arms: Ask the person to hold up both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S – Speech: Ask the person to complete a simple sentence, like “John and Jane went on a picnic.” Are the words slurred? Does the person repeat the sentence correctly?

T – Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is very important. Call 911 immediately and get to a hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.

Advanced Stroke Treatment

The Bronson Healthcare system treats the full spectrum of neurological conditions, including stroke. Our team collaborates to provide complicated neuroscience care at Bronson Battle Creek and Bronson Methodist Hospital—you get the same level of care from the same doctors at both locations.

At Bronson Battle Creek, doctors initiate the clot-busting drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) to patients in the emergency department, then send them to Bronson Methodist Hospital for more complex emergency stroke treatment.

Quality of Care

As our quality grows, nobody benefits more than you. Bronson Methodist Hospital is a Comprehensive Stroke Center as certified by The Joint Commission (2015 - present).