Elders Need to Be Better Informed on Stroke Signs

Art of Care, Inc. constantly educates its patients on the signs to recognize a stroke.

It is vital to maintaining independence and health. Strokes can occur at any time and

individuals must be prepared to see the warning signs.

Reuters provided a very in depth article concerning this issue and we believe it is a great piece of awareness.

Elderly don't know stroke signs: study

(Reuters Health) – Despite increased efforts in recent years to educate the public about

stroke symptoms, the people most likely to suffer stroke — the elderly — still often do not

realize they are having a stroke, a new study shows.

Health

"Half of the patients we studied had even had a stroke previously and they still did not

make the connection between the two events," Dr. Latha Stead of the Mayo Clinic College

of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota said in a statement.

The results of the study were presented today during the annual meeting of the American

College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in Seattle.

Among 344 elderly stroke patients seen in the ER, researchers found that, on average,

patients delayed going to the hospital for nearly three hours from the start of symptoms.

Some waited over a week. "We need to do a better job of educating people that stroke is a

medical emergency and that they need to get to the emergency department ASAP," Stead stated.

Seventy-two percent of the patients studied had had acute ischemic stroke, which is triggered

by a clot that blocks a blood vessel in the brain. The remaining 28 percent had had a

"mini stroke" – what doctor's call a transient ischemic attack, or TIA.

In a TIA, a clot temporarily clogs an artery, depriving that part of the brain of needed oxygen.

With a TIA, symptoms of a stroke last for a short period — less than 5 minutes — and cause

no lasting damage; as a result, people often ignore TIAs. These mini strokes, however, are

often a warning sign of more serious stroke to come, so rapid diagnosis and treatment is important.

Stead and colleagues found that only about half of the patients in the study thought they

were having a stroke or TIA.

Classic stroke symptoms include weakness in one part of the body, particularly an arm

or leg; difficulty speaking, facial droop, severe headache, mental confusion and dizziness.

The most frequent stroke symptoms experienced by patients in this study were weakness

(65 percent), inability to speak or slurred speech (59 percent), numbness or tingling in arm,

face or leg (37 percent) and facial droop (31 percent).

Some of the reasons why patients who thought they were having a stroke still did not come

to the ER right away are "really heartbreaking," Stead said. For example, some patients were

afraid to come to the ER by themselves because they feared dying at the hospital alone;

"others didn't want to inconvenience a friend or family member by asking to go to the hospital,"

Stead noted.

"In fact, you are less likely to die if you get to the ER as soon as possible," Stead said.

"And the inconvenience you might cause a family member is nothing compared to the

inconvenience of lasting stroke damage."

 

To read the full article, please go to: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSCOL95452320071009

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  1. Awesome post. I like your article. 😉 Janet Brinker

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