Health Information (Strokes 101)

Stroke 101

Reduce your risk with this essential information. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death among Americans and the No. 1 cause of disability in adults. That’s the bad news. The good news is 80 percent of strokes are preventable.

What is stroke?

Blood vessels that carry oxygen to the brain become blocked or burst.

Who's at risk?

Anyone, at any age, can have a stroke. Certain factors, including being 55 and older and being male, put you at greater risk.

How can it be prevented?

  • Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

What are the symptoms?

If you notice the following sudden symptoms, call 911 immediately; do not drive to the hospital. Time is critical!

  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs, especially on one side of the body.
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Difficulty seeing.
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Severe headache with no known cause.

Is it treatable?

Most times, yes,but get to the hospital quickly. Some people will qualify for clot-buster drugs, if they arrive early enough. Receiving these drugs early can reduce the stroke’s permanent effects and make a full recovery more likely.

What happens afterward?

Patients should take part in a stroke rehabilitation program—which consists of physical, occupational and speech therapy—as soon as they’re strong enough. Delaying rehab for even several days can make recovery even more difficult.

To make an appointment with the University of Maryland Rehabilitation Network at University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, call 410-225-8357.