World Stroke Day a reminder that quick action saves lives, reduces disability

October 29, 2015

On World Stroke Day, UCI Health reminds the community of the need to take immediate action when someone is showing signs of stroke.

“We like to say ‘Brain is Time,’” said Wengui Yu, MD, PhD, director of the UCI Health Comprehensive Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center. “A stroke can be devastating, but the proper treatment program can make a tremendous difference for patients. When a stroke happens, every minute counts. The faster you are diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of recovery.”

Established by the World Stroke Organization in 2006, World Stroke Day is observed on October 29 to underscore the serious nature and high rates of stroke, raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of the condition, and ensure better care and support for survivors.

UCI Health is fully committed to providing the Orange County region with access to the highest quality stroke care available.

In 2013, UC Irvine Medical Center was the first hospital in Orange County to achieve The Joint Commission’s Comprehensive Stroke Center designation, which recognizes hospitals that have the state-of-the-art equipment, infrastructure, staff and training necessary to diagnose and treat patients with the most complex strokes.

U.S. stroke incidence

  • Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. Someone dies from one every 4 minutes.
  • Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the U.S., claiming nearly 130,000 lives per year.
  • About 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year.
  • Stroke is the leading preventable cause of disability.
  • African-Americans have nearly 2x the risk for a first-ever stroke than Caucasians, and a much higher death rate from stroke.  

World Stroke incidence

  • Stroke is the No. 2 cause of death behind heart disease.
  • Someone has a stroke every 2 seconds.
  • 1 in 6 people will have a stroke in their lifetime.
  • 33 million people worldwide had a stroke in 2010. Slightly more than half (16.9 million) were first strokes.

Warning signs, Emergency Medical Services, treatment

  • 8 percent of Americans can identify each letter in the F.A.S.T. acronym for stroke.
  • Among the words in the stroke acronym F.A.S.T., “Face” has the highest recognition (42%), followed by “Arm” (36%), “Speech” (33%), and “Time” (27%).
  • 1 in 3 people cannot name at least one sign of stroke.
  • Most people say they would call 9-1-1 for stroke, but fewer people are arriving at the ER by ambulance after suffering stroke symptoms.
  • Hispanic men are the least likely to use EMS for stroke (about 52%).
  • African-Americans have the highest stroke mortality and are less likely than Caucasians to arrive within 3 hours and receive the clot-busting drug tPA.
  • Nationwide, only 3-5 percent of patients receive the clot-busting drug tPA and fewer than 1 percent receive endovascular therapy.

Read more about UCI Health and stroke ›