COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S becomes the victim of a stroke and it can happen to anyone, at any age and time.
“The first step is knowing if you have the risk,” said Kelli Brennan, the Piedmont Columbus Regional director of neuroscience.
Although strokes aren’t the leading cause of death, they are the leader in adult disability. Think of it as a “brain attack” when the blood flow to a certain area in the brain gets cut off. When that happens, your brain cells are deprived of oxygen and cells began to die.
“We’re doing a lot of things in the community to prevent stroke and increase awareness of strokes but still this year we’ve already seen over 600 patients and we’re on track to see about 800. This is anybody. We have strokes in the younger generation, starting at 20 years old, to all the way up to the elderly," said Brennan.
Georgia along with our neighboring southeastern states are a part of what’s called " the stroke belt” where people are at higher risk. Here it’s the fifth leading cause of deaths.
“Columbus actually sits at the buckle of that stroke belt meaning we have the highest incidents and mortality of stroke compared to the rest of the part of the country. A lot of that is thought to be due to our higher incidents of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure,” said Brennan.
Spotting a stroke FAST is crucial, so remember the word FAST. F- for face drooping A- for Arm weakness S- for speech difficulty and T- time to call 9-1-1.