Newsplex - Martha Jefferson HealthWise - Headlines

Healthwise: Stroke Prevention

By: Cheryn Stone Email
By: Cheryn Stone Email

May 26, 2010

Across the country, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds, and strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Needless to say, Stroke Teams at Martha Jefferson Hospital are always busy.

A stroke is the result of a lack of oxygen in the brain from a blocked or ruptured blood vessel.

"Most of the time you should be able to know that a stroke is happening to you. It occurs suddenly. That's one of the real indicators that a stroke is happening; one moment you're doing fine then suddenly you're having a problem," said Dr. Alex Grunsfeld, a doctor at Martha Jefferson.

Sudden inability to stand, numbness and difficulty with speech or vision are some of the symptoms of a stroke. But doctors say it is preventable.

"Strokes occur because of a chronic injury to blood vessels in the brain, and if you're aware of what's going on in your life that is causing that injury, you can reverse it for instance," said Dr. Grunsfeld.

Doctors say some risk factors are uncontrollable. For instance, men are more at risk than women, and risk increases as you age. But there are some you can manage, including high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.

Dr. Grunsfeld suggests a useful acronym to help in identifying a stroke and preventing death. 'FAST' stands for Face, Arms, Speech, Time. Look for asymmetry in the face, ask the person to raise their arms, ask for the person to repeat words and quickly get the stroke victim to a hospital.

"If you get to the hospital in a short enough time period, there are medicines available that can reverse the stroke. They can unblock the blockage that is causing the stroke," said Dr. Grunsfeld.

Doctors say you should not ignore minor problems, as they may be a precursor to a stroke. They say something called a TIA is very similar to a stroke - a blood vessel gets blocked - but goes away on its own. TIA victims are very likely to have a stroke within the next few days.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 94954354