Archive for October, 2006

Most people don’t know the symptoms of a stroke

In a recent study by Mayo Clinic researchers, a majority of highly educated and medically sophisticated patients were largely unaware they were having an acute ischemic stroke and urgently needed immediate medical care. The Mayo researchers wanted to understand why stroke patients were showing up in the emergency room too late to receive treatment that could lessen the consequences of an acute ischemic stroke.

If you have symptoms of a stroke, it is a medical emergency. Brain tissue dies quickly when deprived of oxygen. Early treatment can minimize brain damage and potential disability or even mean the difference between life and death. “Every minute you wait, hoping your symptoms will go away, you lose almost 2 million brain cells. Don’t try to tough it out, and don’t waste time trying to get in touch with your primary physician or neurologist. You need emergency help,? said Jeffrey L. Saver, M.D., professor of neurology at the University of California, in an article by MedPage Today.

Everyone should know the warning signs of stroke: 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; and sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

via MedPage Today, October 2006

Smoking ban linked with decrease in hospital admissions for heart attack

In the five months after a strict smoking ban in public places was enacted in northern Italy, hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction dropped by 11%. This is the second study of this kind to report a decline in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction following initiation of a ban of this nature.

via European Heart Journal October 2006