Mercy Regional Health Center


What is a stroke?
A stroke is a cardiovascular disease that occurs when an artery becomes blocked by a blood clot. The clot makes it hard for the brain to get the blood and oxygen necessary to function. As a result, brain tissue begins to die, leading to brain damage.

How common is stroke?
According to the American Stroke Association, 700,000 people suffer from stroke each year, with 158,000 dying as a result. This means that stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

What are the different types of stroke?
There are two types of stroke:

  •  ischemic
  •  hemorrhagic

How can I recognize the signs of a stroke?
Remember that with a stroke, you have to act F.A.S.T.

F - Facial Drooping
A - Arm Drift
S - Speech
T - Time

Does the face sag on one side?
Does one arm hang down?
Is speech slurred or impaired?
If you detect any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately!

Am I at risk for a stroke?

  •  I have high blood pressure.
  •  I have high cholesterol.
  •  I am diabetic.
  •  I smoke.
  •  I have an irregular heartbeat.
  •  I am overweight.
  •  I rarely exercise.
  •  I have a history of stroke in my family.

If three or more of these statements apply to you, you are at high risk for a stroke. As your doctor how you can lower your risk.

How can I reduce my risk for stroke?
Work with your doctor to make changes that will decrease your risk of stroke:

  •  Know your blood pressure, and lower it if necessary.
  •  Find out whether you have high cholesterol, and learn to control it.
  •  If you are diabetic, control your diabetes.
  •  Find out whether you have an irregular heartbeat.
  •  Lower your sodium and fat intake.
  •  Incorporate exercise into your daily life.
  •  Quit smoking.