Why Stroke Prevention is so Important
Out of all the medical emergencies that plague America, stroke is one of the most devastating, and the most common. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year. One person dies from a stroke every four minutes. Although this number is staggering, the vast majority of stroke patients survive the episode and have to grapple the severe side effects for the rest of their lives. Chances are you have a close relative that has survived a stroke. If you do, you have a glimpse of the many complications that come as a result. It is still overwhelmingly easier to prevent a stroke, particularly with the invention of a safer left atrial appendage occlusion. Today we’ll discuss some of the side effects and emphasize why stroke prevention is so important.
There is no Cure
Unfortunately, there is no magic ‘cure’ for stroke patients. The human brain is one of the least understood organs in the body just because of its sheer complexity. In the brain there are roughly 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Between those vessels are about 100 billion neurons. When the brain is denied adequate oxygen,such as during a stroke, there is no way to predict exactly how it will cope or react. Side effects from a stroke range from memory loss all the way to complete paralysis of parts of the body. According to the American Heart Association, every stroke is unique, but strokes affect people in common ways.
The Effects of Stroke Are Unique
The severity of a stroke depends on the location of the blood clot and how much tissue is affected. Obstructions on the left side of the brain affect the right side of the body, and vice versa. A more common side effect is loss of mobility, or partial paralysis in the hands, arms or legs. Many stroke victims struggle to move as freely as they did before the stroke. Their balance is off and they have a difficult time coordinating limbs when walking. Loss of mobility is particularly devastating to individuals with particularly active lifestyles before, or to victims who are middle aged or younger.
Most side effects are treated through physical therapy and regular visits to specialists. Although technology has increased our ability to treat stroke victims, it doesn’t replace healthy living and practical preventative practices. It is far easier to prevent a stroke than it is to treat it. If you notice the symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately. Symptoms include slurred speech, droopiness in the face muscles and weakness in the arms. The sooner a victim receives medical attention the less severe the results will be. We will discuss lifestyle tips in our next two blog posts. In addition to healthy lifestyle choices, Coherex is developing a safer left atrial appendage occlusion to minimize stroke risks in atrial fibrillation patients most at risk of suffering a stroke.