May is National Stroke Awareness MonthPosted May 7, 2021 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®
In the month of May alone, approximately 65,000 Americans will experience a stroke, with many individuals unaware that they were even at risk. Less than a third will arrive in the emergency room within three hours, the optimal time period for better outcomes.
A stroke is a “brain attack”. It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, the abilities that are controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.
You can use the acronym FAST to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke:
- FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
- TIME – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
If you have suffered a stroke that results in long-term or permanent impairments that make working no longer possible, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. For example, you may have difficulty concentrating, remembering details or how to do tasks, or communicating messages or issues to the proper staff. Or, if one side of your body was left paralyzed, you may have to drag your leg or foot, which impacts your mobility and your ability to stand in one position for prolonged timeframes. Or if you have inability to use an arm, you may find yourself unable to lift, carry, or grasp things as you normally would.
Read more on stroke awareness: https://www.heart.org/en/professional/quality-improvement/stroke-month-2021
By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®