A stroke is an unknown and often silent disease. There is no warning, it simply develops when an artery in the brain becomes blocked or a blood vessel breaks and impedes blood flow to the brain. This is the point at which complications arise.
In developed countries, a stroke is the leading cause of death among women, and among the most frequent among men. However, thanks to medical breakthroughs and information on this disease, we now know that 80% of cases can be prevented if certain risk factors are controlled, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, consuming tobacco and alcohol, stress, physical inactivity and diabetes.
In order to educate the public on the symptoms of a stroke and how to prevent it, we have teamed up with the Spanish Neurological Society and Stop Strokes in order to launch the STROKE - Prevent, learn, act campaign.
With the help of this campaign we intend to encourage healthy lifestyle choices in order to avoid risk factors and to underscore the importance of recognizing the symptoms in order to assess if you are suffering from a stroke. The amount of time that passes from the initial symptoms to contacting the emergency services is an essential factor. The reaction time when dealing with a stroke is four and a half hours from the initial onset of these symptoms: asymmetry, weakness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding, sudden vision loss or impairment and a sudden headache. The sequelae are less severe if the professionals can treat the stroke in time.
Among the activities organized in this campaign to spread the word about the importance of prevention, we installed a stroke tour in the Santo Domingo square in Madrid on 26 and 27 October, which anyone could go along to in order to learn about strokes, how to prevent them and, if it happens, to know what to do. During 2019 we will travel to a number of Spanish cities. Keep an eye on our calendar.