What Is a Stroke?

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Stroke

Strokes are the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability among Americans. Though someone in the United States has a stroke every 45 seconds, great strides have been made in preventing and treating them. In this Web guide you’ll find information about strokes from the Web’s most respected consumer health Web sites and stroke foundations.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke is also called a “brain attack” because like a heart attack, it results from a blockage in blood flow to the organ, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Identifying a stroke’s signs and getting immediate help are critical to minimizing damage and preventing death; the longer blood is cut off, the more damage is done. How a stroke affects someone depends on what part of the brain is deprived of blood. Different limbs or abilities, such as speech, could be affected.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you believe someone is experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately. When someone is having a stroke, quick treatment is essential to preventing long-term damage.
  • A stroke can also occur when a blood vessel breaks and leaks into the brain, which also interrupts blood flow.

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