LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - We all know what it means to have a heart attack. The National Stroke Association wants people to become just as familiar with a brain attack. That’s what happens when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. It’s not just a problem that comes with old age.
Dr. Inola Mello, DNP, has a lot of experience in emergency nursing at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Although strokes are more common as we age, she says there are certain risk factors that can trigger a stroke at a much younger age.
She explains, “For young women, birth control pills can be a risk factor for a stroke, as can long travel. Long distances because of being still and sitting for long periods of time. That changes the way the blood flows through the body which can cause a clot, which then can trigger a stroke.”
Dr. Mello says a big reason people don’t seek medical attention is denial. She says people often find excuses for their pain. She says, “Like heart attacks, [people say] ‘oh this chest pain is going to go away. it’s no big deal.’"
She says likewise, with symptoms of a brain attack, if you drop a cup of coffee or your arms are not working right, you may want some time to know if there is a problem. But again, she says, remember that time is of the essence. Rather than wasting time trying to decide if there is a problem, she says “It’s better to find out for sure if it’s a stroke because the treatment is very good.”
Dr. Mello goes into more detail about stroke symptoms in our full interview below: