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Stroke Awareness


Every 4 minutes someone dies from a stroke. This is why it is so important to understand who is at risk of having a stroke and learn ways to prevent a stroke from happening. If you know someone who has previously had a stroke or who is at risk of having a stroke, become familiar with signs and symptoms so you can act quickly. A stroke happens when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, causing lasting damage to the brain tissue.

Risk Factors of Having a Stroke

  • Having high blood pressure is a leading cause of having a stroke.
  • Unhealthy diets that include high amounts of cholesterol.
  • Physical inactivity can result in obesity and diabetes.
  • Tobacco use can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.

For more information on blood pressure and hypertension visit https://www.calverthealth.org/personalhealth/healthlyliving/cardiovascular.htm.

Need assistance with quitting tobacco? Contact the health department or visit https://www.calverthealth.org/personalhealth/healthlyliving/SmokingCessation.htm for more information.

Stroke Prevention
A stroke can be prevented by making healthier lifestyle choices.

  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol can increase your blood pressure.
  • Help prevent high cholesterol by eating food low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, and high in fiber. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and Body Mass Index
  • Physical activity is a way to help maintain a healthy weight. It is a general recommendation to conduct about 30 minutes of moderate or intensity aerobic physical activity every day.

If you would like assistance with a nutrition plan that works for you, contact Bonnie Newlin, a certified Nutritionist at Calvert County Health Department for a 1:1 nutrition consultation.

For more information visit https://www.calverthealth.org/personalhealth/healthlyliving/nutrition.htm.

Act F. A. S. T.
If you act F. A. S. T., when you think someone is having a stroke, it could help them get treatment to prevent long term damage. Treatment works best when the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within three hours of the first symptom. When you think someone is having a stroke, act F. A. S. T. and do this simple test:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?
  • Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Is one arm weak or numb?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand?
  • Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 immediately and get them to a hospital.

Other Symptoms of a Stroke

  • Sudden confusion with understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble of seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking or loss of balance 
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

For additional resources and information about strokes visit https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke

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