How and why strokes happen Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die. About 2 million brain cells die per minute during a stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or a mass blocks a blood vessel, cutting off blood flow to a part of the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures, spilling blood into the brain. Like ischemic stroke, a major cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled hypertension. Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Merced, CA Permit No. 1186 Dignity Health PO Box 119 Bakersfield, CA 93302 Keep summer fun! Stroke is the No. cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 140,000 people a year. Stroke: Why it’s an emergency Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. That’s why the American Heart Association and Dignity Health, its Life Is Why Kern County sponsor, are encouraging people to learn the signs of a stroke and to act fast when they appear. Each year, almost 800,000 people have a stroke. Knowing how to recognize a stroke emergency is key to getting lifesaving medical attention when every minute matters. Use the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember the most common signs of stroke: F ace drooping. Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven? A rm weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? S peech difficulty. Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” T ime to call 911. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get to a hospital immediately. (Tip: Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.) 5 5 ways to stay safe and well. See page 4 Are you at risk for stroke? Take a quick online assessment to find out if you might be—and what you can do about it—at dignityhealth.org/ bakersfield/stroke . THE SARVANAND HEART AND BRAIN CENTER AT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL is the premier facility located between Los Angeles and Fresno for the treatment of most heart and vascular conditions, including congenital heart defects, congestive heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. The Center has the area’s only Bi-Plane Interventional Suite and Hybrid Cath Lab, and it is a certified Thrombectomy- Capable Stroke Center for the advanced treatment of stroke. It is also home to the area’s first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) program.