Featured Video: Stroke Awareness

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Source: New Jersey Department of Health

“Someone in New Jersey has a stroke every 30 minutes, and 39 percent of stroke patients die or become severely disabled while hospitalized,” says NJ Department of Health Policy and Strategic Planning Director Cathy Bennett. “Those who are 65 and older account for more than 70 percent of hospitalized stroke patients. However, 40-64 year olds are showing an increase in hospitalizations among both men and women.”

A stroke is caused when a blood clot blocks the blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die. If the supply of blood or oxygen is not quickly restored permanent brain damage or death can occur.

Many times family members are the first people to recognize that something is wrong with a relative or loved one and speed of diagnoses is critical to limiting the damage that a stroke may cause.

Should you notice a family member, or any person, with the following symptoms, please dial 9-1-1 immediately:

Sudden numbness or weakness of the arm, leg, or face (especially on one side)

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding,

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes,

Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or trouble walking,

Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

“The best way to prevent a stroke is to watch your weight, avoid smoking, drink alcohol at minimal levels, and keep your blood pressure under control,” added O’Dowd. “By making healthy choices, you help protect yourself against a possible stroke.”

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