Our Lady of the Lake and LSU Baseball teamed up May 16 to promote Stroke Awareness Month when the Tigers took on Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium. The “Strike Out Stroke” game aimed to share important education to help stroke victims get to the hospital in time to receive life-saving treatment.
Attendees at the LSU game on Tuesday were provided educational materials and koozies with essential information about surviving a stroke. “Strike Out Stroke” is a national movement that has included more than 20 professional baseball teams and a growing participation among college teams and little leagues.
Alex Box Stadium could be filled to capacity 78 times with the number of people who suffer from stroke every year in the U.S. That’s 795,000 stroke victims. While stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of adult long-term disability, it is also largely treatable if quick action is taken.
Louisiana has one of the highest incidence rates of stroke in the country, and is one of the 11 states in the Stroke Belt, a name given to the southeastern part of the U.S. that has been recognized by its unusually high incidence of stroke.
As the first certified Primary Stroke Center in the region, Our Lady of the Lake provides patients the advanced-level neurological care that is needed when minutes count. Stroke affects more than 2,000 patients in Louisiana each year and is one of the most time-sensitive diseases that can occur. Recognizing symptoms quickly can mean the difference between recovery and disability, even death.
Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells every minute.
Symptoms of a stroke can be subtle and may include the sudden feeling of weakness in the arms or legs, blurry vision, headache, dizziness, difficulty balancing, and trouble speaking. Use the F.A.S.T. test to remember the signs of stroke:
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
While anyone can have a stroke at any age, the chances of having a stroke increase with certain risk factors. These include being over 55, male, and having diabetes or a family history of stroke. Some risk factors for stroke can be managed, such as tobacco use, being overweight and drinking too much alcohol.