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Can a Stroke Kill You?

Feb 7, 2023 4:28:45 AM

Someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds. That amounts to over 795,000 people every year. About 610,000 of these strokes are those who are having a stroke for the first time.

Strokes can happen at any time and more often than not without warning. It can result in permanent brain damage and other side effects. Many people wonder, "can a stroke kill you?"

This guide will discuss whether or not you can die from a stroke. We'll also talk about the signs of a stroke and how you can prevent strokes from occurring.

Can a Stroke Kill You?

Yes, you can die from a stroke. Strokes are the number five cause of death and the primary cause of disability. However, around 80% can be prevented.

A stroke happens when the blood supply to a part of your brain gets reduced or blocked. There are two main types of strokes:

  • Hemorrhagic stroke

  • Ischemic stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke is when the blood vessel bursts. Blood spills into the nearby tissue. Pressure can build up in the tissue, causing more irritation and damage.

An ischemic stroke is the most common type. It occurs when a major blood vessel gets blocked, usually by a blood clot. It can also get blocked by cholesterol or fatty deposits.

Is Every Stroke Fatal?

While having a stroke can be fatal, that's not always the case. There are a few factors that determine the effect a stroke has on you. These include:

  • Severity

  • Location

  • When you get medical treatment

Your brain needs a constant flow of oxygen and blood. If there's an interruption in this much-needed supply, your brain cells will start to do.

1.9 million brain cells die every minute you don't get a stroke treated. The death of these brain cells can result in death or permanent disability. You should treat a stroke with the same urgency that you would a heart attack.

Your brain function will deteriorate as brain cells die. If you don't pass away from a stroke, you can have difficulties doing everyday activities. Strokes affect the following things:

  • Movement

  • Vision

  • Mood

  • Language

Early intervention and treatment increase the chances you'll survive a stroke. You might also experience no or little disability problems.

What Are the Symptoms and Signs of a Stroke?

Knowing you or a loved one is having a stroke is key to preventing long-term disabilities and death. The best way to remember the most common symptoms of a stroke is by using the acronym FAST:

  • F: Facial drooping

  • A: Weakness in the arms

  • S: Difficulty speaking

  • T: Time to get medical attention

You should call 911 if you believe someone is suffering from a stroke. They can start to receive stroke treatment while they're in the ambulance.

Other common symptoms of strokes include:

  • Difficulty seeing out of both or one eye

  • Loss of coordination, balance, walking, or dizziness

  • Severe headache

  • Confusion

  • Numbness of leg, arm, or face

These side effects come on suddenly with no definitive cause. Once the patient gets to the hospital, the healthcare providers will perform various tests to determine if they had a stroke. These tests include blood flow tests and brain imaging.

How Do Strokes Get Treated?

Your doctor will create a tailored treatment plan for the stroke patient based on various things. They include:

  • Overall health

  • Age

  • The severity of the stroke

  • Where it occurred

  • The cause

There isn't a cure for strokes but there are treatments available that can reduce your risk of death and permanent brain damage. Treatments include medicines to control or reduce brain swelling. You might also get prescribed medications to dissolve blood clots in your brain.

What Causes a Stroke?

Strokes can happen to anyone at any age. However, certain factors put a person at a higher risk of having a stroke. These include:

  • High cholesterol

  • High blood pressure

  • Being obese or overweight

  • Family history

  • Diabetes

  • Heart disease

  • Smoking

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Sleep apnea

  • Having a previous ministroke or stroke

How Can I Reduce My Chances of Having a Stroke?

Some of the causes of a stroke can't be prevented or changed, like genetics or gender. There are different lifestyle changes you can implement to live more healthily and reduce your risk of having a stroke.

These lifestyle changes vary from person to person, but generally include:

  • Stop smoking

  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet

  • Staying at a healthy weight

  • Exercising at least three days a week for 30 minutes each day

  • Getting treatment for medical conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure

Is Dying From a Stroke in Your Sleep Possible?

Strokes can happen while you're sleeping. You might wake up, finding yourself suffering from stroke symptoms. These types of strokes are referred to as "wake-up strokes."

They're not different than strokes that happen while you're awake. They can be more dangerous because stroke treatment gets delayed due to the fact you're asleep. You're at risk of dying from a stroke in your sleep because you're unable to get treatment right away.

There's also an increased risk of having permanent disabilities when you have a stroke while you're sleeping. It's important to have clot-busting medication given to you in the first three hours after your stroke. If you have a stroke while you're asleep, you're unable to determine when your symptoms started.

We're Here to Help

While we at Power of Patients wish we could fully eliminate "can you die from a stroke" for TBI and mental health survivors, we do provide them with a ground-breaking online tool to help manage these conditions.

We are also committed to driving research in both fields. Power of Patients is especially concerned with improving the welfare of those suffering from debilitating symptoms caused by TBI and resulting permanent disabilities.

Using the Power of Patients customized symptom tracker to track one's symptoms and healing will help you and your clinician understand your symptoms in a broader context. It'll allow Power of Patients to use your information to study effective treatments for TBI patients. Overall, it is a win-win situation for patients, caregivers, clinicians, and medical researchers.

See how the Power of Patients' symptom tracker can help you or your loved one today! We are here with you through every step of your journey.

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