Stroke affects 750,000 Americans each year, and more than 500,000 of these cases are preventable. When you have a stroke, your brain does not get the blood it requires. Without the oxygen and nutrients carried in the blood, brain cells start to die within minutes. Because stroke is a medical emergency, you need prompt treatment to lessen brain damage and complications.
Neurologists at HonorHealth often compare stroke with heart attack, referring to stroke as "a brain attack." What happens in the heart during a heart attack also happens in the brain during stroke. The longer blood supply is interrupted, the more your brain tissue suffers damage. Just as "time is heart" with heart attacks, "time is brain" with strokes.
For this reason, it's important to get treatment for stroke quickly. After the onset of stroke, approximately two million brain cells die each minute, until treatment is administered.
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At HonorHealth, emergency stroke care involves a skilled, highly coordinated team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, nurses, rehabilitation physicians and therapists. Together, using the latest diagnostic and surgical techniques, they can identify and try to reverse brain damage caused by stroke.
Stroke risk factors
Diseases of the heart and stroke also share many risk factors. They include:
- Lack of exercise.
- Poor diet.
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
Other risk factors include age and a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol.
Many risk factors can be curbed through a stroke prevention program outlined by your HonorHealth doctor.
Once you've suffered a stroke, you're 10 times more likely to suffer another. Taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle can play a big part in decreasing your risk. Here are some ways to reduce your risk:
- Stop smoking.
- Engage in physical activity on a regular basis.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a healthy diet, including a low-sodium diet if you have high blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure.
- If you have a heart condition, including valve disease or irregular heartbeat, work with your doctor to monitor and control it.
- Take medication as directed.
Certified in stroke care
Three HonorHealth medical centers have earned certifications that demonstrate a commitment to excellence to provide care that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients. Scottsdale Osborn, John C. Lincoln and Deer Valley medical centers are certified as Primary Stroke Centers by DNV Healthcare, an international certifying agency approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For more information, contact the Primary Stroke Center nearest you:
Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center
7400 E. Osborn Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
John C. Lincoln Medical Center
250 E. Dunlap Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85020
19829 N. 27th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Patients should call 911 if they or a loved one is having a stroke.