FRAMINGHAM – October 29 is World Stroke Day. Millions of people come together to help spread the word about this debilitating disease as well as prevention and treatment.
A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when something blocks blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death, according to the CDC.
To understand stroke, it helps to understand the brain. The brain controls our movements, stores our memories, and is the source of our thoughts, emotions, and language. The brain also controls many functions of the body, like breathing and digestion, according to the CDC.
To work properly, your brain needs oxygen. Although your brain makes up only 2% of your body weight, it uses 20% of the oxygen you breathe.1 Your arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood to all parts of your brain, according to the CDC.
MetroWest Medical Center-a Certified Stroke Center-is raising awareness about this health condition that affects many people in our community.
The hospital’s emergency department in Framingham is open and safe to care for many medical emergencies.
Experiencing Stroke Symptoms?
The signs of stroke require immediate attention. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of stroke before it’s too late. The easiest way to do this is to remember the acronym FAST:
What Happens During a Stroke
If something happens to block the flow of blood, brain cells start to die within minutes because they can’t get oxygen. This causes a stroke.
There are two types of stroke:
- An ischemic stroke occurs when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels to the brain. Fatty deposits called plaque can also cause blockages by building up in the blood vessels.
- A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. Blood builds up and damages surrounding brain tissue.
Both types of stroke damage brain cells. Symptoms of that damage start to show in the parts of the body controlled by those brain cells.
Time lost is brain lost. Every minute counts, says the CDC.