News, Your Health Lindsay Guinaugh | 7 years ago

Stroke 101: Save Time, Save Brain

It cannot be overstated – a stroke is an emergency of the greatest urgency. During a stroke, your brain's supply of oxygen is blocked, which means your brain is literally dying by the second.

This is why it's crucial to get immediate treatment after you've suffered a stroke and why the phrase "time is brain" is such an accurate depiction of what's happening to your body during a stroke. So how crucial is it to get immediate treatment following a stroke? Every minute counts – literally. A recent study published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke concluded that for every minute treatment is accelerated following a stroke, patients gain another 1.8 days of healthy, disability-free life. Conversely, every 15-minute delay in treatment resulted in a loss of one month of healthy life. Time Really IS Brain So why don't some stroke sufferers call for help immediately? There are several reasons, but a study published recently in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation points out that while some people may not recognize the symptoms of stroke, others wanted to wait until they could reach their regular doctor while others simply "didn't want to be a bother."

Shockingly, the study found that more than 36 percent of patients who suffered a stroke between 2003 and 2010 never called 911.

Other notable findings include:
    • 61 percent of stroke sufferers who called 911 arrived at the hospital within hours of their first symptoms compared to only 35.6 percent who didn't call 911.
    • 55 percent of patients who arrived via EMS received a brain scan within 25 minutes of arrival versus only 35.6 percent who didn't use EMS.
The study also found that minorities and people living in rural areas were the least likely to call 911. Just Remember: When in doubt, call 911 for help!