A stroke can be deadly — and if it doesn’t kill you, it can leave you with serious, often permanent, disabilities. So when a powerful clot-clearing drug called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996, it was a game-changer in the treatment of ischemic strokes, which afflict about 795,000 people each year in the United States.
Stroke happens when something cuts blood flow to the brain, depriving the brain of oxygen. As soon as the brain gets starved of oxygen, after several minutes the small neurons start to die and after a certain amount of time, the damage is irreversible. If the doctors can get to the patient within three hours, the clot busting medication tPA, which is a strong clot busting agent, can dissolve clots.
Three hours could be the difference between death, disability or complete recovery from a stroke. That's the ideal window of time for doctors to get blood flowing back to the brain.
Many candidates are not getting the drug. Many hospitals are not prepared to give tPA. They do not have a stroke team that can ensure rapid evaluation of the patient. Stroke centers have a team ready to do this; many rural hospitals do not. But the most common reason for tPA's underutilization is that patients simply don’t get to the hospital fast enough — namely, within three hours of the onset of symptoms or their last-known “well” time.
That’s why it’s best to call 911 if you think you or a loved one is having a stroke.
The story of stroke is not over. Stroke is preventable. Stroke is treatable. And recovery from stroke is possible. For stroke survivors and their loved ones, continued advances in rehabilitation and recovery mean real hope for a better future. There is life after stroke.
Survive a Stroke Foundation serves to help educate people on strokes and how to act FAST. At any age, one must know how to act FAST in a medical emergency. Strokes can happen at any age. Strokes can be survivable.
ACT FAST, SAVE LIVES
An Illustrated Stroke Survival Guide
An easy to read and understand illustrated booklet that will help you, or someone you love, survive a stroke and other medical emergencies.
It is based on a true story. It can happen to anyone unable to help themselves in a medical emergency. You cannot count on the health care system to help you.
Strokes are the #4 cause of death and the
#1 cause of disability in the United States
Today you may be happy, enjoying life, feeling good and having a great day. But, imagine tomorrow waking up and not be able to swallow or talk. No warning. You cannot ask for help. You cannot tell anyone that something is wrong. Your cries for help will not be heard. No one can hear you. You may even have medical personnel around you who do nothing or who actually incorrectly diagnose you and make you worse. You cannot tell them what is wrong. Precious time starts slipping by.
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