The World Stroke Organization (WSO) states that one in four adults will experience a stroke in their lifetime, and this is why the official World Stroke Day on October 29 aims to raise awareness about the ailment worldwide. In simple words, a stroke happens when the blood supply to your brain is cut off, resulting in temporary or permanent damage to your brain cells. A person can recover from a stroke, but those who do not recover either suffer from one disability or more or, in the worst case scenario, they die. World Stroke Day reinforces the idea of stroke being preventable. One of the best things we can do to reduce our chances of getting a stroke is becoming physically active. Exercising regularly and eating or drinking right will help us not to be part of the one-in-four statistic. Stroke is the number one cause of disabilities, and it is also the second-highest reason behind people dying from a disease.
History of World Stroke Day
The WSO celebrated the first World Stroke Day in 2006. The organization came into being the same year after the merger of the International Stroke Society (ISS) and the World Stroke Federation (WSF). The WSO is a non-profit agency that works to raise awareness about strokes and help stroke survivors in getting back to their lives. In their own words, the WSO’s mission is to “promote research and teaching in this area that will improve the care of stroke victims throughout the world”. In this way, the organization is also committed to recognizing and appreciating the efforts of all those medical and nonmedical professionals who have committed to reducing the stroke rate worldwide. The WSO also hosts a biennial congress workshop where, to date, more than 2400 participants have learned important skill sets. In order to reach a wider audience, the organization has set up an e-learning platform called the World Stroke Academy.
Every year, there’s a special theme surrounding October 29. Previous years’ themes include “Little Strokes, Big Troubles” (2008), “Because I Care” (2013), and “Up Again After Stroke” (2018).
A stroke takes place when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, either totally or partially. Because brain cells require oxygen and nutrients constantly, if the blood supply is not restored on time, the cells will start dying. This is why it is extremely important to get the patient to receive treatment as soon as you suspect stroke symptoms. The following are some tell-tale signs of a stroke: loss of movement, feeling, and/or vision on one side of the body, combined with dizziness, confusion, and difficulty in speaking. People who smoke, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity are at a higher risk of suffering from a stroke. You can prevent a stroke from happening by quitting tobacco consumption, eating or drinking healthy, exercising, and taking good care of your heart.
World Stroke Day timeline
Hippocrates, a Greek physician, is the first person to record strokes in history calling it “apoplexia”, which he describes as the “stagnation” of blood causing an interruption of “spirit” to the brain and body.
More and more research shows that a stroke is actually blood supply being reduced to the brain, causing doctors and surgeons to start treatment on carotid arteries.
Medical research shows that high cholesterol levels, smoking, and high blood pressure are high risk factors for strokes.
A rapid response method to reduce stroke casualties is developed for hospitals to help patients suffering from a stroke.
World Stroke Day FAQs
What day is National Stroke Day?
National Stroke Day, which is also known as World Stroke Day, takes place on October 29.
How do people celebrate World Stroke Day?
People celebrate the day by educating themselves on the risk factors related to strokes. There are several conferences and discussions taking place throughout the day. People also learn about their own risk of having strokes, what they could do to prevent them, and how to respond when they or someone near them is having a stroke.
What is the theme of World Stroke Day 2021?
#PreciousTime was the theme of World Stroke Day in 2021, which was aimed at the response time of stroke patients and the precious life moments that can be celebrated with recovery or prevention.
How To Observe World Stroke Day
Focus on leading a healthy life
10 years back, one in six people suffered from a stroke. This statistic has been reduced to one in four in 2021. The risk has increased, so you need to become proactive in saving your own life starting now. Cut down on alcohol and smoking, eat and drink healthily, and exercise on the regular.
Get regular checkups
While you may be doing all the right things, it is still good practice to get regularly checked on by your physician. Have your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked, or monitor them yourself. There’s nothing better than catching a problem early on and getting preventative treatment.
Educate your loved ones
Inform your family and friends about the importance of taking care of themselves against strokes. Educate everyone on what should be done when they think someone is having a stroke. Learn the acronym FAST: “F = Facial Weakness; A = Arm Weakness; S = Speech difficulty; T = Time loss is brain loss”. Call 911 when these symptoms are present. Don’t wait!
5 Facts About Strokes That Will Blow Your Mind
Long-term disability in stroke sufferers
Half the people who have suffered from a stroke at the age of 65 or above will have to live with a long-term disability for the rest of their lives.
Obesity increase causes stroke statistics to climb
The worldwide increase in obesity has led to a 12% increase in stroke incidents in 15 years.
Increased recovery rate
With increased awareness and improved treatment, many patients are treated earlier and thus have a greater chance of recovery than previously.
Blood thinners as treatment
Treatments with blood thinners minimize brain damage in stroke patients.
Onlookers are more responsible
Around 66% of the time, an onlooker will get a treatment plan started for a patient suffering from a stroke.
Why We Observe World Stroke Day
It informs us of strokes and their treatment
Strokes can be very dangerous if not prevented or left untreated. Even a slight delay in getting the right treatment can result in catastrophic changes to a person’s life. Such changes, which would usually impact their socio-economic situations, will also have an impact on their families. Thus, it is important to learn about strokes and ways we could stop them from happening.
It’s a reminder of healthy living
Strokes are not a joke or a passing moment. They can be extremely devastating, as they have the ability to leave you cripple or take your life. Make the decision to start day one of your healthy living so that you avoid this.
It’s a reminder of precious moments
Illnesses can not only rob us of our health, but they can also steal the precious moments in life that everyone cherishes. Be it a graduation, wedding, anniversary, or a birthday, all these are important milestones, and you would do anything to be there with your loved ones, enjoying and celebrating. So, take hold of your life and live an active life full of those precious times.
World Stroke Day dates