A stroke is a life-threatening condition occurring due to a blood clot cutting off the blood supply to parts of the brain. They are emergencies so seeking medical assistance should be a priority. If someone shows signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately.
It is important to recognize the signs of a stroke and call emergency services as quickly as possible. Think FAST (Face, Arms, Speech and Time) to recognize the symptoms. Patients suffering a stroke will droop on one side of the face. One arm may be unable to raise up or may drift down when they are asked to raise it. Speech will be impaired or slurred. If any signs are observed, waste no time and call 911 or a local emergency number immediately.
Patients who are overweight, obese, physically inactive, drink heavily and use illegal drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamines are at a higher risk of having a stroke. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and history of stroke or heart attack in the family.
Medication may be prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke, for example, to dissolve blood clots and reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure. Drug classes often prescribed for this purpose include anticoagulants, ADP (adenosine diphosphate) receptor antagonist platelet aggregation inhibitors, antiplatelet/NSAID combinations, and platelet camp enhancing platelet aggregation inhibitors.