Strokes are the number five killer of individuals in the United States according to the American Stroke Association (ASA). About 795,000 Americans die each year from a stroke.  This means that a stroke occurs every 40 seconds somewhere in the US, and shockingly, a greater number is occurring among young women.

Most people assume older people are the only ones who have strokes. The ASA says that it is important to understand that anyone can have a stroke, and that more women than men have a stroke each year.

ASA emphasizes that the best way to prevent a stroke is to be aware of risk factors and to talk to your doctor about how to manage them.

There are five common risk factors for women:

  1. Pregnancy-related diabetes
  2. Preeclampsia
  3. A family or personal history of spontaneous miscarriages
  4. The use of birth control pills
  5. Hormone replacement therapy.

Other common risk factors for both men and women include:

  1. Hypertension
  2. Irregular heart beat
  3. Diabetes
  4. Depression
  5. Obesity
  6. Smoking
  7. Excessive alcohol use
  8. Family history of stroke
  9. Migraines

Another important fact is that more women than men die of stroke.  The World Stroke Organization says that this occurs because women are less likely to receive the same level of care or rehabilitation as men. To make sure you get proper care as soon as possible once a stroke occurs, it is important to know the warning signs. The ASA reports that one in three adults do not recognize the warning symptoms for a stroke, and notes that one in seven strokes are misdiagnosed in young adults.

Know the FAST FACTS about symptoms for a stroke.

The ASA has a campaign called FAST to help you identify the warning signs and symptoms for a stroke. FAST stands for:

  • Face Drooping (Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? When you smile is it uneven?)
  • Arm Weakness (Is one are weak or numb? When you raise both arms, does one arm drift downward?)
  • Speech Difficulty (Is speech slurred? Are you unable to speak or is it hard for others to understand? Can you repeat a simple question correctly?)
  • Time to call 911 (If you or s loved one shows any of these symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you can report when the symptoms first started.) The sooner you get to the hospital after a stroke the faster you will receive treatment that can dramatically reduce any long term damage and save your life.

Medtrust Private Ambulance Services provides emergent and non-emergent ambulance services.  We support patients and families in Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Georgetown SC with a fleet of fully-equipped ambulances.  Our goal is to provide compassionate and timely patient care.