As the nation’s largest voluntary organization fighting heart disease and stroke, the number one and number three killers in the United States respectively, our research and programs touch millions of lives each year.
Yet, although you may have heard of us, you may not be completely sure exactly how we’re working in the community to fight these devastating diseases. We’d like to change that.
Since May is National Stroke Month, a time when we work to focus close attention on a disease that not only takes thousands of lives every year but is also the leading cause of long-term disability, we will take this opportunity to share some information about stroke.
A stroke is often referred to as a “brain attack.” With each second that passes, part of a stroke sufferer’s tissue is damaged, often irreversibly. That’s why we say that, when it comes to stroke,”time lost is brain lost.”
It’s also why it’s so critical that people recognize the warning signs of a stroke, and that they act quickly when a stroke occurs. By learning and sharing this information, you could help someone you love avoid the devastating physical, mental, and emotional damage caused by stroke.
Call 9-1-1 immediately at the first sign of these symptoms:
· Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
· Sudden confusion, or sudden trouble speaking or understanding
· Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
· Sudden trouble walking, or sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
· Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Stroke also disproportionately affects African Americans. To learn more about the American Stroke Association’s Power To End Stroke movement, which aims to educate and empower African Americans to fight stroke in their communities, call 1-888-4-STROKE or visit www.strokeassociation.org/power.
We look forward to continuing to share life-saving – and life-improving – information with you.
Please contact the Los Angeles office of the American Heart Association (AHA) at (213) 291-7000 to find out how you can take a special “Learn and Live” office tour, and to learn how you can help us build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Bruce Ovbiagele, M.D., Neurologist and L. A. Division AHA Board Member
Claudia Keller, AHA Executive Director