World Stroke Day, on October 29th, seeks to emphasize the serious nature and high rates of stroke. The day is also observed to raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of strokes.
According to previous statistics, one in six people were expected to have a stroke during their lifetime. Fifteen million people around the world have strokes each year. It’s also the leading cause of disability. A stroke may cause paralysis, sensory disturbances, aphasia, and emotional disturbances.
Over 6 million people die as a result of a stroke. Throughout the world, stroke is the second leading cause of death. Additionally, current statistics suggest that the number of people expected to have a stroke has increased. Now, one in four people is likely to have a stroke.
Early Warning Signs
Knowing the early warning signs of stroke saves lives. Early symptoms of a stroke usually happen suddenly. These symptoms include:
- Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion or trouble talking
- Trouble seeing
- Dizziness or trouble walking
- Severe headache
If you or a loved one is having any of these symptoms, it’s important to act F.A.S.T.
F = Facial Weakness
A = Arm Weakness
S = Speech difficulty
T = Time loss is brain loss. Call 911 when these symptoms are present. Don’t wait!
Early warning signs of a stroke may disappear after a few minutes. However, the symptoms may still indicate a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Even if symptoms disappear, it’s important to receive medical attention right away.
It’s important to know the symptoms of a stroke. Furthermore, it’s also important to know that strokes can be prevented. In fact, up to 90% of all strokes can be prevented by addressing certain risk factors. These risk factors include hypertension, diet, smoking, and exercise. Through an emphasis on prevention, the World Stroke Association hopes to cut the number of strokes in half by 2030.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldStrokeDay
Here are some ways to observe this day:
- Know your risk of having a stroke
- Attend an informational discussion on strokes at a local medical facility
- Take action to prevent a stroke by quitting smoking, changing your diet, and reducing hypertension
- Learn the early signs of stroke and how you should respond
- If you have experienced a stroke, share your survivor story with others
Visit www.strokeassociation.org for more resources and use #WorldStrokeDay to share on social media.
WORLD STROKE DAY HISTORY
In the 1990s, the European Stroke Initiative had the idea to create a global awareness day for the strokes. Due to financial restrictions, the awareness day was limited to Europe only. The country celebrates its awareness day on May 10th. In 2004, a World Stroke Day was established at the World Stroke Congress in Vancouver.
In 2006, Canadian clinical neuroscientist, Dr. Vladimir Hachinkski helped to incorporate a World Stroke Proclamation. During that time, the International Stroke Society merged with the World Stroke Federation. The result of this merger was the World Stroke Organization (WSO). Under the management of the WSO, the first official World Stroke Day was held on October 29th, 2006.