WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — It’s one of the most serious health concerns facing people here in the U.S. and throughout the world.

According to area health providers, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability across the country.

For for those reasons, May is considered National Stroke Awareness Month.

During this time, the American Stroke Association and the American Heart Association, as well as other non-profits, work to raise awareness about the impact of stroke on survivors and their families. They also focus on information such as warning signs, symptoms and stroke prevention.
Health providers say early diagnosis and treatment is crucial when dealing with a stroke.

“The key to treatment is to catch it as soon as you can so you can get to the emergency room where they can assess you and decide if you’re a candidate for what is commonly known as a clot-buster. There is more invasive treatment like clot-retrieval. But the key is to diagnose the type of stroke you are having. Is it a bleed in the brain, which accounts for about 20% of strokes? Or, is it is it an estenmic event, which is lack of blood flow to the brain, which accounts for about 80% of strokes?”

Dr. Jamie Evick. Vice President Medical Affairs, WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital