What is a stroke? Also called a “brain attack,” it’s when blood to an area of the brain is blocked, or when there’s sudden bleeding in the brain.

Someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States, according to the NBC News website, which describes two different kinds of strokes that can occur:


Ischemic stroke. This is caused by a blood clot or plaque blocking a blood vessel in the brain.


Hemorrhagic stroke. This is the result of a blood vessel bursting and bleeding into the brain.


The main causes of a stroke, according to the CDC, are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and diabetes.

How can you tell if someone is having a stroke? Remember the acronym FAST:


F: Face. The face of a person having a stroke usually droops. Ask the person to smile. If the smile is uneven, a stroke could be happening.


A: Arms. Ask the person to lift one or both arms above the head. A weak or numb arm is another symptom of stroke.


S: Speech. Is the person slurring his or her words, unable to speak, or difficult to understand?


T: Time to call 911. If the person exhibits any of these symptoms, call for medical help immediately.

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