Thousands of people worldwide are forced to deal with the debilitating effects of stroke each year. Some contributing factors that may cause strokes are heart disease, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Approximately 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year and one American dies from a stroke every 4 minutes on average according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A stroke is caused by a blockage of blood supply to the brain or a ruptured blood vessel in the brain occurs. Brain tissue begins to die and brain damage, disability and death can be the result.
A stroke is a medical emergency and the sooner treatment can be administered, the better results for a stroke victim. Headache, paralysis, speech, cognitive thinking, bladder and bowel control, chewing and swallowing can be some of the more severe symptoms. Recovery can be days, weeks, months or even years with medications and physical therapy. Strokes can be fatal.
While the number of Americans dying from stroke remains high, the country’s “Get with the Guidelines Stroke Program” is being hailed for its effectiveness and is used as a model worldwide. Since its initiation in 2003, numerous studies have demonstrated the program’s success in helping those who have suffered a stroke. Hospitals have learned the need for faster delivery of treatment and the best practices for stroke recovery.
The program offers professional education workshops, clinical tools and resources, hospital team achievement programs and other measures to capture patient recovery responses and processes.
Researcher and China Medical University chair professor Dr. Chung Hsu said many of the program’s standards could be effectively applied in Taiwanese care settings.
“The World Health Organization ranks stroke as the world’s second-leading cause of death, so improving quality of stroke care is a global priority, despite diverse healthcare economies across nations,” Hsu said.
Some people are automatically at a higher risk for getting a stroke. The National Stroke Association says African-Americans are twice as likely to have a stroke as Caucasians. Being over the age of 55 and female also increases the likelihood of having a stroke.
People who are at a higher risk of having a stroke because of uncontrollable circumstances may want to consider purchasing life insurance early in life to better their chances of getting the type of coverage they want.