In the United States, someone suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds while someone dies every four minutes (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- CDC). This makes stroke one of the leading causes of long-term disability in our country. 

Yet in a survey (conducted by the CDC), only 38% of people polled were unaware of major stroke symptoms beyond the most common one of numbness on one side of the body. 

May is American Stroke Month, so we want to ensure that everyone recognizes the symptoms of a stroke and knows what to do in the event you or a loved one suffers from one.

A stroke occurs when something blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.  As blood flow is halted, brain cells can become permanently damaged or die within a matter of minutes. 

When looking for signs or symptoms of a stroke, remember the F.A.S.T. checklist:

F—Face: Are they able to smile or does one side of the face droop?

A—Arms: Can the person raise both arms or does one arm hang downward?

S—Speech: Ask them to say a simple phrase then repeat it, is speech slurred or strange?

T—Time: If you spot any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away, do not delay, and do not drive yourself if you are the one experiencing a stroke.  

Stroke sufferers who receive treatment within the first three hours of symptoms have the best opportunity for recovery. 

Many strokes are caused by carotid artery disease, a chronic health problem that occurs from the buildup of plaque in the carotid arteries. The carotids are the main arteries leading to the brain. If plaque accumulates, these arteries become increasingly narrow, which could lead to a stroke. 

CTVS offers patients minimally invasive options such as TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) to prevent future strokes. TCAR is designed to help minimize that risk by keeping potential stroke causing fragments away from the brain.  Click here to see how TCAR works. 

For questions about any of our vascular, thoracic, or cardiac services, please visit or call us at (512) 459-8753 to schedule an appointment.

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