Attack of the brain
Two million brain cells die every minute someone is having a stroke.
That’s why it’s so important to recognize the warning signs and act quickly, says Dr. Sunil Chauhan, a neurologist with the Advocate Medical Group.
“A stroke is a brain attack,” Dr. Chauhan says. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. “Stroke is a brain attack,” says Dr. Sunil Chauhan. “The best thing to do is to call 9-1-1, rather than calling a friend, your doctor or any other family member. Come to the emergency room, because two million cells die every minute you wait.”
Strokes can be caused by the lack of blood flow to the brain, due to a clot, or a ruptured blood vessel. Those who survive a stroke may have to contend with partial paralysis, speech/language and vision problems, and memory loss.
A handy way to remember the symptoms of stroke is to “Think FAST” (F = Face, A = Arms, S = Speech, T = Time). Look for these common symptoms:
• Sudden onset of weakness, numbness and/or tingling on the face or one side of the body.
• Inability to speak
• Sudden vision issues
• Sudden trouble with balance or dizziness
• Sudden severe headache
Acting quickly is key. Call 911 if you or someone you know is experiencing stroke symptoms. All Advocate Health Care hospital sites in Illinois are primary stroke certified.
At an emergency department, doctors can start treatment to restore blood flow, potentially reversing some of the stroke’s effects if started within three hours of the onset of symptoms.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.