Stroke Awareness

Federal Documents Department Promoted Stroke Awareness in its Well-Attended Program on May 17th

Fifteen people traveled to the Main Library in Jersey City for the Stroke Awareness program, presented by the Federal Documents Department, on Tuesday, May 17, 2012. The discussion on the cause factors, care, and prevention of stroke was led by Dr. Erica Frangione, DNP, RN-BC – a Registered Nurse Stroke Program Coordinator from Bayonne Medical Center.

The program was a timely one, as May is Stroke Awareness Month.  Did you know? Someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every 4 minutes someone dies of stroke. Every year, about 795,000 of these are first or new strokes. About 185,000 people who survive a stroke go on to have another. Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a brochure from the Stroke Center at Bayonne Medical Center, a “[s]troke causes the loss of blood and oxygen to the brain. This can be due to a clot that blocks the flow of blood through blood vessels in the brain. In a very short time, perhaps even a few minutes, this loss of oxygen can cause brain dysfunction. Unless the obstructing blood clot is removed quickly, the loss of oxygen can result causing brain cells to die.”

Bayonne Medical Center offers other helpful information on strokes, including from the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association. According to the American Stroke Association, the most common effects of stroke are “[h]emiparesis (weakness on one side of the body) or hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body). One-sided neglect, as a result of hemiparesis or hemiplegia, motor impairment and loss of sensation on one side of the body often causes stroke survivors to ignore or forget their affected side. Aphasia (difficulty with speech and language) or dysphagia (trouble swallowing). Decreased field of vision and trouble with visual perception. Loss of emotional control and changes in mood. Cognitive changes (problems with memory, judgment, problem solving or a combination of these). Behavior changes (personality changes, improper language or actions).”

What’s more, there are emotional changes that affect the person with stroke. These emotional changes are: “[d]epression; apathy and lack of motivation; tiredness; frustration, anger and sadness; reflex crying (emotions may change rapidly and sometimes not match the mood); and denial of the changes caused by the brain injury.”

What are the warning signs of stroke?

* Sudden weakness or numbness 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

* Sudden, severe headaches with no known cause

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you – or someone you know – experience these warning signs!

(Source: American Stroke Association)

For more information, two booklets, Stroke Symptoms and Stroke Smart, offered by Bayonne Medical Center at the presentation, can be gotten directly from the original source, the National Stroke Association: / 1-800-STROKES (1-800-787-6537). The American Stroke Association can be contacted at: / 1-888-4-STROKE (1-888-478-7653).

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