Thursday, April 28, 2011
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nearly 700,000 people nationwide suffer a stroke every year — approximately one person every 45 seconds.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults. Up to 30 percent of stroke patients become permanently disabled. Despite the misconception that strokes only happen to older individuals, almost a third of all patients are young.
The key to surviving a stroke is awareness and prompt medical attention. "Stroke does not have to be as debilitating as we once believed," says James Meschia, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Primary Stroke Center. "However, obtaining prompt medical attention is critical so the effects of a stroke can be limited and the patient's condition can be managed to prevent further damage and improve recovery."
To promote stroke awareness, Mayo Clinic is hosting a "Stroke Awareness Health Fair," on Friday, May 13, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Kinne Auditorium in the Cannaday Building. The free event will feature presentations by physicians from Mayo Clinic's stroke team at 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., as well as a lunch-and-learn at noon. Representatives from the stroke team and other departments, including neurology, cardiology, rehabilitative services, nutrition and pharmacy, will be on hand to answer specific questions. Free stroke risk assessments will also be offered.
Mayo will also host a free interactive health seminar, "Get Answers to Your Questions about Stroke," on Thursday, May 19, at 7 p.m. in Kinne Auditorium. Space is limited and reservations are required for the night event. To make a reservation, please call 904-953-0770.
Strokes can happen quickly or can occur over several hours, as the condition continually worsens. Frequently, the thrombus or clot that is causing the stroke can be dissolved or disintegrated, opening the flow of blood to the brain again. In such cases, immediate treatment can mean the difference between a slight injury and a major disability.
Mayo Clinic is certified as both a Comprehensive Stroke Center and Primary Stroke Center — staffed 24x7 by an integrated team of health professionals skilled in rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke and other cerebrovascular disesases.
Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.
Cindy N. Weiss
Learn more about becoming a patient at Mayo Clinic in the Patient & Visitor Guide.