|Hawaii Neurotrauma Registry Project Update
From Dr. Violet Horvath, Project Director, and Dylan Arrieta, Project Coordinator
Think F.A.S.T. – what are the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke?
If you struggled to answer this question, you are not alone. From Lihue to Laupahoehoe, and everywhere around and in between, Hawaii Neurotrauma Registry Project staff find that people have a hard time naming the common warning signs and symptoms of a stroke. Think of F.A.S.T. to help you remember:
Did you know that there are two major types of stroke? The first is a hemorrhagic stroke. This is where a blood vessel ruptures. It happens in about 13% of strokes. More common is the ischemic stroke, where an artery to the brain becomes blocked and cuts off blood flow. In either case, the loss of blood to the brain can result in permanent damage.
There is also something called a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. In a TIA the blood flow is blocked or reduced, often by a blood clot. After a short time, blood starts to flow again and the symptoms go away. To quote the American Heart and American Stroke Associations, “Some call it a mini-stroke, but it’s really a major warning. Call 9-1-1.” Why? Because about a third of people who have a TIA end up having a severe stroke within one year.
Hawaii Neurotrauma Registry Project staff have come across a common phrase echoed by many Hawaii residents who have had strokes and completed the voluntary Hawaii Neurotrauma Registry survey
: “Something just didn’t feel right.” Even though they were not sure what was wrong, they got help.
In the case of stroke, seconds and minutes really are precious. Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke, and calling 9-1-1 as soon as possible, may not only make a difference in how well you recover – it could mean the difference between life and death.