World Stroke Day is observed every year on October 29 to raise awareness about the necessary steps required to reduce the risk of suffering a stroke in people across the globe.
According to reports, every minute 3 Indians suffer from a stroke. The stroke is said to affect the blood vessels of the brain but can be treated if diagnosed on time.
World Stroke Day History
The European Stroke Initiative developed a global awareness day for strokes during the 90s. The day was only limited to Europe because of financial issues. It is celebrated there on May 10th. During the World Stroke Day Congress in Vancouver in 2004, World Stroke Day was commemorated.
A Canadian neuroscientist, Dr. Vladimir Hachinkski, proposed to initiate a World Stroke Proclamation in the year 2006. With this, the International Stroke Society joined with the World Stroke Federation. Out of the joining of these two, came out the World Stroke Organization (WSO). Under this organization, the first World Stroke Day was celebrated on October 29, 2006.
World Stroke Day 2021 Theme
World Stroke Day 2021 theme is “minutes can save lives”. This theme is very apt as it is only in minutes that your brain stops functioning after the blood vessels are ruptured and bleeding starts.
It is very important to act fast, so your life can be saved. There are certain alarm signs, that detected early, will result in early treatment.
The rule of the thumb is to watch out for these:
F: Facial weakness
A: Arm weakness
S: Speech Difficulty
T: Time loss which means brain loss
This year’s theme will focus on addressing the same and highlight the importance of acting F.A.S.T.
What is a stroke?
A stroke appears when there is breakage and bleeding of a blood vessel in the brain or when the blood circulation to the brain is blocked. The breaking and blocking stop the blood and oxygen from reaching the brain tissue. Without oxygen, the cells and tissues in the brain die in minutes.
As per records, 15 million people across the globe get a stroke. Out of these 15 million people, 5 million die and 5 million become disabled forever. Stroke is usually not common in people who are under the age of 40 and if it occurs, the main reason is high blood pressure.
Symptoms Of Stroke
Early detection of the symptoms of a stroke is the key to saving someone’s life. Symptoms of stroke can include:
- Troubled walking
- Loss of balance
- Severe headache
- Weakness in leg, arm, or face
- Slurry speech
- Double vision or blurry vision
By acting swiftly you can save a person from brain damage, permanent disability, and even death. There are two types of strokes, namely, hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. Treatment depends upon the kind of stroke that one suffers from.
People most vulnerable for strokes include those who have:
- Heart valve defects
- High blood pressure
- Sickle cell disease
- Heart problems
- Irregular heartbeats (can be faster or slower)
- A previous history of strokes
- Enlarged heart chambers
Ways to Prevent a Stroke
The first step towards preventing a stroke is by quitting smoking if you are a smoker. What else can help you with lowering the risk is if you are overweight, controlling it will surely keep you healthy.
You should always keep in touch with your annual check-ups after the age of 30. Living a healthy lifestyle is again an important way to keep you away from strokes, which includes eating a balanced diet, exercising.
With depression and anxiety on the rise, stress management is one thing that plays a pivotal role in keeping a person stable and sane. Stress is one of the major causes of strokes these days.
How is World Stroke Day Celebrated?
On the occasion of World Stroke Day, there are organizations that honor stroke survivors along with their families, and caregivers. Doctors and researchers involved in the development of stroke-related scientific advances are also honored on this day. They are bestowed with several awards for treating problems related to stroke.
Apart from this, various exhibitions, free stroke screening tests, and fun runs are organized all across the globe.
Things to do on World Stroke Day can involve:
- If you have ever experienced a stroke, share it with others on World Stroke Day.
- Attend various informational exhibitions related to strokes in healthcare facilities
- Quit smoking, change to a healthy diet, reduce stress in order to prevent strokes.
- Learn the early signs of stroke and talk to a doctor.
- Go to a medical facility and know your chances of a stroke.