Information on Stroke
Living with Stroke
- Stroke is the #1 cause of chronic disability and #3 cause of death in Hawaii (State of Hawaii Department of Health, 2017).
- In 2014, 3.1% of the population (over 43,000 people) of Hawai’i indicated they had been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that they had a stroke (Hawai’i Health Data Warehouse, 2014).
- Hawai’i’s stroke rate is 53.2 per 100,000 people, which is higher than the national average of 47.8 per 100,000 (Centers for Disease Control, 2015).
What to do if you or someone you know is having a stroke:
Call 9-1-1 Immediately!
Why is it important to call 9-1-1?
Every minute counts!
- Stroke is caused by blockage of blood flow to the brain, usually due to a blood clot that is lodged within one of the blood vessels to the brain.
- For every minute blood flow to the brain is blocked, 1.9 million brain cells die. This is the equivalent of your brain aging 3 weeks per minute, or 3.6 years per hour!
- The ambulance is not just a faster taxi cab to the Emergency Room. When you call 9-1-1, paramedics perform a standard set of tests to determine whether you are having a stroke. If the tests indicate you are having a stroke, the ambulance will transport you to the nearest Emergency Room that is capable of providing high quality stroke care for the type of stroke you are having. Not every hospital in Hawaii is equipped to treat people with strokes. The paramedics will also activate the hospital stroke team prior to arrival, saving valuable time!
- If you are having a stroke, tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) is a clot-buster medication that can be administered through the IV to dissolve the blood clot and restore blood flow to the brain. The faster tPA is given, the better chance of restoring blood flow to the brain before permanent brain injury occurs. tPA can only be given within a few hours of stroke symptom onset. Every minute counts.
- Over the last year, only 16% of patients with strokes were treated with tPA in Hawaii, mostly because patients did not arrive to the hospital quickly enough to be safely treated.