Press Releases

Stroke Awareness Month

May 11, 2017

May is known as Stroke Awareness Month and highlights what a stroke is and how to identify someone who has had a stroke.

It's also important to illustrate the critical role air transport has in getting rural Americans to a primary stroke center faster than by ground. When you consider that for every minute a stroke is left untreated, an estimated 1.9 million neurons are destroyed. Time is brain. 

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die. 

Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke). A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or “mini stroke,” is caused by a temporary clot.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year. That’s 1 in every 20 deaths.

  • FAST is the acronym used to identify a stroke (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911).
  • Up to 65 percent of patients with signs or symptoms of acute stroke access their initial medical care via local EMS.
  • Rural hospitals continue closing at a high rate, so air medical transport continues to become increasingly crucial to delivering patients to primary stroke centers within optimal time frames.
  • Learn more about the need rural Americans have for access to critical care via air ambulance at SOAR's website, especially for trauma, heart attack and stroke victims.

You can engage your community for Stroke Awareness Month, using some of these ideas:

  • Join the movement online and share the relevant social media posts from our Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Choose a day when a group of your co-workers, family and friends wears royal blue in honor of stroke awareness.
  • Sponsor or take part in local walks/runs for stroke awareness, or organize another fundraiser.

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