Do you have high blood pressure? Do you smoke? Do you have diabetes? Are you overweight?
If your answer to any one of these questions is “yes,” you’re at risk at risk for stroke. There are other risk factors, but high blood pressure in particular is the leading cause of stroke—and unlike risk factors you can’t do anything about such as gender, age or race, you can do something about high blood pressure. In fact, research suggests that up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
Stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted. Blood carries oxygen, and brain cells require oxygen to function properly. Cutting blood flow to any given area of the brain can cause critical functions, such as movement, speech or memory, to be lost.
Why is understanding the risk factors so important to understand? It’s because stroke is the No. 1 cause of disability in the United States—and the No. 5 cause of death. If you can prevent stroke, clearly you should. And if you recognize the signs of stroke, you might be able to reduce the amount of cell death—and therefore brain damage—by fast action.
Einstein Hosts Stroke Outreach
May is American Stroke Month, and Einstein is kicking it off by participating in Stroke Alert Day Tuesday, May 5, at locations throughout the Philadelphia area.
Here’s where to look for our nursing volunteers, and improve your understanding of stroke.
- At the Olney Transportation Center, Broad Street and Olney Avenue, we’ll be handing out bookmarks that spell out the warning signs of stroke from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
- Get a blood pressure screening and a stroke risk assessment at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 4200 Wissahickon Avenue, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Stroke information and blood pressure screenings will be available at two local Shoprite stores, at the Cheltenham Mall and at Front and Olney, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- There will be activities in the cafeteria at Einstein Medical Center and Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- We will offer blood pressure screening at the West Oak Lane Senior Center from 12 noon to 1 p.m.
On Friday, May 8, we will hold an event at the H Mart in Dr. Kim’s office. One of our Korean residents will speak on warning signs of stroke and risk factors.