Published on May 27, 2019

Stroke Awareness Month

PELLA, Iowa— May is National Stroke Awareness Month and Pella Regional Health Center is urging the public to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke, risk factors for stroke, and prevention measures. Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and around 800,000 people will have a stroke in the U.S. this year alone. Stroke is a leading cause of adult long-term disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., killing nearly 130,000 people a year. That’s 1 in every 20 deaths.

A common misconception is that strokes occur only in older adults. Although stroke risk increases with age, a stroke can happen to anyone at any time.

Symptoms of stroke include:

  • drooping of one side of the face
  • weakness in one arm
  • slurred speech
  • sudden numbness
  • confusion
  • trouble seeing
  • trouble walking
  • sudden severe headache

If someone shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services immediately.

“Strokes are mostly preventable and treatable,” said Rebecca Dykstra, DO, Family Practice physician who also provides Obstetrics, at Pella Regional. “Having well controlled blood pressure, living a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding tobacco use will significantly reduce your chance of having a stroke. However, if you are having symptoms of a stroke, it is extremely important to seek emergent medical care as soon as possible. Some of the treatments we use are only available if you seek care within the first few hours of symptoms.”

For more information on stroke, please talk with your health care provider or call for an appointment with a Pella Regional provider at 641-621-2200.