How Can I Prevent a Stroke?

Did you know that a majority of strokes are preventable? According to the American Stroke Association, up to 80% of strokes can be prevented by not smoking, making healthy food choices, getting enough physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and treating chronic conditions such as high blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

We’ve already covered the Key Differences Between a Heart Attack, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and Stroke but in observance of American Stroke Month, we’re going to share some important facts about stroke, the warning signs of a stroke, and dive into a few ways you can reduce your likelihood of having a stroke.

5 Key Facts About Stroke

FACT #1: Stroke kills brain cells

A stroke happens when a clot or rupture interrupts blood flow to the brain. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die.

FACT #2: There are three types of stroke

  • Ischemic (caused by a clot)
  • Hemorrhagic (caused by a rupture)
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or “mini-stroke” (caused by a temporary blockage)

FACT #3: About one in four stroke survivors is at risk for another

Fortunately, up to 80% of second clot-related strokes may be preventable.

FACT #4: Prevention is key

If you’ve already had a stroke, create a plan with your doctor to prevent another. Your plan may include managing high blood pressure and discussing aspirin (which is a blood thinner) or other medications. If you are at elevated risk for stroke due to chronic health conditions like high cholesterol, blood sugar, or blood pressure, you may want to discuss ways to manage your condition with your doctor.

FACT #5: Time lost is brain lost

Some brain cells start dying less than five minutes after their oxygen supply disappears, so it’s critically important to recognize the warning signs of a stroke and to act quickly.  

Source: American Stroke Association

Do You Know How to Spot a Stroke?

Face Drooping

Arm Weakness

Slurred Speech

Time to call 911

Ways to Prevent a Stroke

If you read 5 Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease, some of these tips for preventing a stroke may seem familiar. If not, we added a few for good measure!

Monitor your blood pressure

High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and is one of the most telling risk factors. Normal blood pressure falls below 120/80 — if you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to lower it.

Control your cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that occurs in blood and it can be produced by the body or found in the foods you consume. When your arteries are blocked by fatty deposits, normal blood flow to the brain can become blocked and may cause a stroke. Shoot for a total cholesterol count of under 200. If yours is high, talk to your doctor about changing your diet, developing an exercise plan, or taking cholesterol-lowering medications

Keep an eye on your blood sugar

A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL is considered normal. Make sure your doctor is conducting regular screenings for diabetes, because diabetes more than doubles your risk of stroke!

Get active, stay active!

Aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. You don’t need to do it all at once, either! Go for a quick walk after lunch, take the dog for an extra spin around the block, have a dance party with your grandkids, park as far away from a store’s entrance as possible, take the stairs, and just keep moving!

Eat better

Include fruits and vegetables with every meal. Try to eat the rainbow — don’t worry, fresh, frozen, and canned all count.

If you smoke, quit

We covered this at length in November, during the Great American Smokeout, but if you smoke, it’s time to quit. You can do it.

Make the “I will not have a stroke” pledge today! #StrokeAwarenessMoth

For more information on AEDs, First Aid, or CPR training, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Cardio Partners Publishes “What You Need to Stop the Bleed”

An all-new eBook covering everything your business or organization needs to know about bleeding control kits

Did you know that up to 20% of trauma-related deaths in the United States could be prevented, and that uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma? That’s approximately 30,000 lives that could be saved with proper training, equipment, and product availability!

In recognition of National Stop the Bleed Day on May 23, the Cardio Partners family of companies developed a comprehensive guide to help our corporate customers, educational partners, and community members better understand traumatic bleeding and the importance of bleeding control kits such as Curaplex Stop the Bleed® kits and Cardio Partners Bleeding Control Kits.

Get Your Free Copy of What You Need to Stop the Bleed

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

In this well-researched guide, we share detailed statistics, discuss the importance of Stop the Bleed® kits, suggest potential funding sources, delve into how these advanced trauma kits differ from a traditional first aid kit, and offer basic instructions on how to recognize traumatic bleeding and suggestions on how to use a bleeding control kit.

Our What You Need to Stop the Bleed eBook also features sector-specific information, targeted statistics, and best practices for the corporate and industrial world, K-12 and higher education, public access and public venues, and information for personal and private users. This guide is designed to help health and safety officers, school board officials, compliance officers, facility managers, and other decision-makers find the right bleeding control kits and to help them implement an effective bleeding control program within their organizations.

“The landscape of the first responder is changing. People need to get out of the mindset that the first responder is a police officer, EMT, or firefighter. If you’re there, you’re the first responder.”

Danny Roberts

Sarnova Emergency Preparedness Product Manager

No matter how quickly professional emergency medical technicians arrive, in the event of a mass shooting, workplace violence, traumatic injury, or motor vehicle crash, bystanders will be the first responders on the scene. As a result, easy-to-use public access bleeding control kits are increasingly important and are a necessary component of any comprehensive emergency preparedness plan.

With access to the right products and the right Stop the Bleed® training, anyone can help stabilize a victim and improve their chances of survival.

Stop the Bleed® is a national awareness campaign and a call to action started by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security in 2015. The Stop the Bleed® program is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Stop the Bleed® kits and other specialized bleeding control kits can be used by both trained professionals and bystanders.

Improve Your Workplace Emergency Preparedness!

DOWNLOAD FREE “What You Need to Stop the Bleed” EBOOK

This all-new eBook is brought to you by Cardio Partners, Bound Tree, AED.com, and EMP. It joins our library of educational eBook resources which also includes Funding Your AED Program: A Complete Guide to AED Grant Writing and our AED Starter’s Guide.

To learn more about our bleeding control kits, courses, or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

ABOUT OUR COMPANIES:

Bound Tree Medical is a national distributor of prehospital emergency medical supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals for EMS providers, including First Responders, EMTs, and Paramedics. From everyday disposable items to capital equipment, we offer thousands of products across all clinical categories.

Cardio Partners a national leader in emergency prevention and an ardent advocate in the fight against Sudden Cardiac Arrest. We supply consultation, equipment and end-to-end training. We are an authorized master distributor of all FDA-approved defibrillator devices, and for this reason, we provide customers with the best value in the industry for new and recertified equipment. We also offer American Heart Association and American Red Cross training courses nationwide, along with state-of-the-art online program management, to fully support our customers’ safety programs.

Emergency Medical Products, Inc. is your one-stop-shop for EMS supplies, first aid products, physician office supplies, diabetic products, and medical teaching and training equipment. Serving first responders, fire and rescue, police, hospitals, colleges and universities and more for 40 years, EMP is your premier source for emergency medical equipment and supplies.

What are Universal Precautions?

The Importance of Universal Precautions and How to Protect Yourself from Bloodborne Pathogens

Universal precaution is an approach to infection control that urges medical providers, first aid providers, and bystanders to treat all human blood and other potentially infectious materials such as cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, semen, vaginal secretions, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, and any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood as if it were known to be infectious for HIV, hepatitis, staph, or other bloodborne pathogens (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

Individuals who use universal precautions are much less likely to be exposed to bloodborne pathogens

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 5.6 million workers in the healthcare industry and related occupations are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. These figures don’t include the tens of millions of people who are first aid certified each year and who play an increasingly important role as first responders to emergency situations.

In case you were curious, not all fluids require special handling: “Universal precautions do not apply to feces, nasal secretions, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, and vomitus unless they contain visible blood. The risk of transmission of HIV and HBV from these fluids and materials is extremely low or nonexistent” (CDC).  

The Purpose of Universal Precautions

The purpose of practicing universal precautions is twofold: universal precautions protect patients from further harm or infection, while simultaneously protecting the medical or first aid practitioner from contracting a bloodborne illness from an infected individual.  

Universal Precaution Equipment

Although unbroken skin is a good barrier against bloodborne pathogens, even the smallest cut, blister, blemish, or skin opening can admit pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens may also be transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth. Equip yourself with personal protective equipment such as:

If your office or facility has an AED, First Aid, or Stop the Bleed® kits, you should include standard universal precaution personal protective equipment.

10 Ways Protect Yourself from Bloodborne Pathogens

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to perform CPR, give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, administer first aid, or are otherwise exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials, you must protect yourself to prevent exposure to pathogens.

  1. Treat all blood and body fluid spills as if they were infectious.
  2. When providing first aid or CPR, protect yourself first (put on gloves and use a face mask), then treat the victim.
  3. Coach injured individuals to apply bandages and to exert pressure on a wound if they’re able to do so.
  4. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment: gloves, goggles, face shields, etc…
  5. When performing CPR, always use a mask equipped with a one-way valve to prevent contact with potentially infectious body fluids.
  6. Contain spills immediately, then clean up and disinfect the area.
  7. Handle all trash with caution — as though it contains sharps and/or infectious items.
  8. When removing contaminated clothing, carefully turn all items inside out as they’re removed to contain contaminants.
  9. Carefully dispose of contaminated items in appropriately labeled containers.
  10. After removing personal protective equipment, vigorously wash hands or other affected body parts with soap and warm water. If soap is not available, use hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes.

Cardio Partners is a trusted nationwide CPR, First Aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training center. We offer high-quality training courses in all 50 states in both traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.