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World Stroke Day

October 30, 2009
Reinbeck Courier

American Heart Association joins international organizations to urge public to fight stroke.

During this year's observance of "World Stroke Day," Thursday, October 29, the American Heart Association and its division, the American Stroke Association will join international organizations with a unified message about the global threat of stroke. This year's theme is "What Can I Do?"

On average, every 40 seconds, someone suffers a stroke and 795,000 Americans will suffer a stroke this year.

Stroke occurs when a vessel that brings blood to the brain bursts or is clogged by a blood clot or some other mass. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, the second leading cause of death in the world and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability.

With the theme of "What Can I Do?" World Stroke Day 2009 encourages people all over the world to take action against stroke. Some ideas include committing yourself to learn about stroke risks and warning signs or volunteering to help educate others about stroke.

Also, individuals may advocate for laws in their states to improve stroke treatment and reduce disparities or donate to organizations that focus on stroke.

"World Stroke Day dedicates a day of awareness to the issue of stroke once a year," said Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, chairman of the World Stroke Day Working Group and first vice president of the World Federation of Neurology. "Each of us must confirm our commitment in the fight against stroke not just today, but everyday."

The American Stroke Association if focused on reducing risk, disability and death from stroke through research, education, fund raising and advocacy.

The World Stroke Organization (WSO) was created on October 29, 2006, at the Regional World Stroke Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, when the International Stroke Society and the World Stroke Federation merged to form one single organization. Since then, the annual World Stroke Day is held on the "birthday" of the WSO - October 29.

To learn more about stroke or what you can do to take a stand against stroke, visit or call your local American Heart Association/American Stroke Association at 319-378-1763.

Stroke Warning Signs:

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Call 9-1-1 if you see or have any of these symptoms. Treatment can be more effective if given quickly. Every minute counts! Check out the warning signs for stroke and learn more at the American Stroke Association's Web site:



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