May Is Stroke Awareness Month: The Ideal Time to Brush up on the Basics

May 13, 2024

A rendering of a brain

By the time you are done reading this story, several people in the United States are likely to have experienced a stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. It is a leading cause of serious long-term disability, with half of all stroke survivors over age 65 experiencing reduced mobility. Every four minutes, someone in this country dies from a stroke.

What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when an artery that carries blood to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel ruptures, causing brain tissue to die as it is deprived of vital blood supply. 

Not all strokes are the same. The most common types include:

  • Ischemic strokes occur when an artery in the brain is blocked and forms a blood clot. This is the most common type of stroke and, according to the American Stroke Association®, ischemic strokes account for nearly nine out of every 10 strokes. Typical symptoms include facial drooping, arm weakness or speech difficulty.
  • A transient ischemic attack (TIA) occurs when the blood supply to the brain is temporarily blocked. TIAs are sometimes referred to as “mini strokes” as these small blockages may cause symptoms and then go away, however, they can serve as an important warning sign and should be taken seriously.
  • A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain and leaks blood into or around brain tissue. People experiencing hemorrhagic strokes may describe them as the worst headache of their lives. In addition to an intensive headache, weakness, nausea and vomiting can also be symptoms.

Nationally recognized stroke care

Every Valley Health System hospital is certified by the American Heart Association® and American Stroke Association as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, a designation earned through excellence in areas like stroke program management, delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.

Additionally, Centennial Hills Hospital, Spring Valley Hospital, Summerlin Hospital and Valley Hospital were all named 2023-2024 High Performing Hospitals for stroke by U.S. News & World Report. This recognizes our commitment to a higher standard of stroke care.

These recognitions show that wherever you are in Southern Nevada, when every minute matters, quality stroke care is close to home.