World Stroke Day: Why it’s so important

Thursday, October 25, 2018

By: Femi Cole

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Medical experts and health advocates across the globe will share similar messages on Monday, October 29, which is World Stroke Day.


The messages will range from stressing the importance of quick action during a suspected stroke to simple tips for preventing stroke.


Dr. Ziad Darkhabani, an interventional neurologist with The Vascular Specialists at Aurora BayCare in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is among those planning to help boost stroke awareness.


“Stroke is a brain attack, much like a heart attack,” he says. “It’s caused by blockage or blood clot to a blood vessel within the brain. The interruption of the blood supply deprives the brain of much-needed oxygen and nutrients and cells begin to die. Ultimately, this causes problems with the body’s ability to carry out functions controlled by the affected area of the brain – muscle control, memory recollection, and more.”


World Stroke Day is one way through which medical experts and health advocates can help spread stroke awareness, Darkhabani says.


“This global health observation provides us a stage on which to educate our communities about stroke signs, symptoms, causes and prevention,” he says. “We also use the occasion to remind people to immediately dial 9-1-1 when they suspect they or their loved ones are experiencing a stroke.”


The warning signs of stroke often are immediately noticeable, Darkhabani says. They include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness
  • Confusion or trouble speaking
  • Trouble seeing
  • Trouble walking or dizziness
  • Sudden, severe headache

“If you or your loved one experiences any of these symptoms and you suspect a stroke, use the acronym FAST to guide your response efforts,” Darkhabani says.


What’s FAST?

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Note any drooping in the person’s smile.
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Note any difficulty doing this simple task.
  • Speech: Ask the person to speak. Is he or she is coherent?
  • Time: Dial 9-1-1 immediately. Time is important.

“The National Stroke Association tells us an estimated 800,000 people each year suffer from stroke,” Darkhabani says. “That’s why we want you to be aware of the symptoms of stroke and act quickly if you suspect a loved one is having a stroke. Also, spread the messages of World Stroke Day. They could one day help you save a loved one’s life.”


Dr. Ziad Darkhabani is an interventional neurologist with The Vascular Specialists at Aurora BayCare. He treats patients at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, Manitowoc and Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Call 920-288-8044 or request an appointment online.

A physican examines a brain scan.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.