Warning signs of a stroke should not be ignored
Last Sunday seemed like an uneventful day. However, on that date in history, many events occurred that are still remembered and observed.
On Oct. 14, 1960, the Democratic candidate for president was John F. Kennedy. He gave a speech at the rniversity of Michigan and what followed, based on Kennedy’s suggestion, was the formation of the Peace Corps. His concept had been developed by Sen. Hubert Humphrey Jr., and the idea of helping people with social and economic development around the world went on to reach 138 countries. Currently, Peace Corps volunteers work in more than 76 countries.
On Oct. 14, 1947, a r.S. Air Force test pilot, Charles E. veager, became the first person to break the sound barrier when he flew the X-1 rocket plane over California.
Pilots had known that when an airplane reaches speeds of approximately 761 miles per hour, air waves pile up. Many people on the ground had become aware and frightened when a plane broke the sound barrier causing an extremely loud noise on the ground known as a sonic boom.
One of the solutions was building planes with the wings angled back. The swept wing airplane has made supersonic flights easy to fly and less noisy.
Medically, nine presidents of the rnited States have died from the fourth leading cause of death in this country, a stroke.
In fact, more than 140,000 people die a year in the rnited States from complications of a stroke and more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year. Of these, 600,000 suffer their first stroke.
Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over age 65 but nearly one-quarter of strokes occur in people younger than 65. Our sixth president, John nuincy Adams, had a stroke in 1848 at the age of 80. The 10th president, John Tyler, apparently suffered a stroke in 1862 when he was 71. Millard Fillmore, the 13th president of the rnited States, had a stroke in 1874 at the age of 74. The 17th president, Andrew Johnson, had a stroke at 66 in 1875. Chester A. Arthur, the 21st president, died from a stroke in 1886 when he was 57. He had become president after the assassination of President Garfield.
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president, died at 67 in 1924. Wilson had survived two major strokes and several minor strokes. Frank- lin Delano Roosevelt, our 32nd president, died at 63 in 1945 from a stroke. President Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th president, died of a stroke in 1969 at age 78. Richard Nixon, the 37th president, died at 81 from a stroke.
Four presidents died of natural causes while in office: William H. Harrison (31 daysF. wachary Taylor 1850; W.G. Harding 1923 and Franklin D. Roosevelt 1945. Chester A. Arthur was the youngest president to die from a stroke.
Stroke warning symptoms are sudden numbness or weakness of the arm, leg or face. Other symptoms are sudden difficulty seeing with one or both eyes, onset of dizziness or loss of balance or a severe headache.
Stroke prevention includes control of blood pressure and diabetes, avoidance of tobacco, control of cholesterol and, of course, a checkup by the doctor.
A stroke is a medical emergency. In contrast to an impending heart attack, too often, people who develop weakness in an arm or leg tend to play the “wait and see” game. They know something is happening but wait to see if numbness or weakness go away before getting help.
When chest pain occurs from severe angina or a heart attack, a person is more likely to call 911. It should be known by everyone that weakness or numbness of the face or limbs should also be a signal to call 911. There are only a few hours following the beginning of symptoms in which a hospital can give a “clot busting drug” to reverse the start of a stroke. A trained emergency team will make the decision whether a stroke is in progress or nothing is occurring.
No one should take a “wait and see “attitude. No one should become a statistic by developing a stroke that could have been reversed.
Health & Science Dr. Milton Friedman