73 Percent Of Americans Are Unaware Of Stroke Symptoms


A National survey carried out across the United States has found that three out of four young people would delay a trip to the hospital, and therefore vital medical attention, if they were experiencing signs of a stroke.


The survey by the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center asked more than 1000 across the USA what action they would take in the first three hours of experiencing stroke symptoms.

The first three hours when stroke symptoms start is the most crucial period of time for treatment, and is often referred to as the “golden window.” During this time period it is crucial for patients to recieve medical attention to try to minimize and even reverse the effects of a stroke.

However a large majority of those under the age of 45 (73 percent) said that rather than go straight to hospital, they would wait to see if their symptoms improved. Only one in three said they would very likely go to hospital within that golden window.

David Liebeskind, from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center stressed the importance of acting quickly when stroke symptoms are seen, “Timely treatment for stroke is probably more important than for almost any other medical problem there is,” he said, “There is a very limited window in which to start treatment because the brain is very sensitive to a lack of blood flow or to bleeding, and the longer patients wait, the more devastating the consequences.”

The news is particulary worrying as strokes in the under 45s have been on the rise since the mid 1990s, increasing by as much as 53%.

“That’s a real problem,” said Liebeskind. “We need to educate younger people about the symptoms of stroke and convince them of the urgency of the situation, because the numbers are going up.”

“Believe it or not, it’s on the order of minutes or hours when somebody has to seek medical attention,” said Liebeskind. “There simply is no time to wait. It’s a message that we clearly need to get to younger people more effectively.”

Stroke symptoms to look out for include a drooping face, weakness or numbness in the arm, and speech difficulty. If you or anyone you know experience these systems it is time to call 911.

As well as knowing the symptoms, and knowing to act quickly, doctors advise it is also important to know what puts you at a higher risk of experiencing a stroke.

“The good news is, there are steps we can take to lower our risk of stroke,” said Liebeskind. A healthy diet and regular exercise, as well as not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption, have all been shown to lower your risk of stroke.

Source: AFP Relaxnews