A stroke is a serious condition that can be fatal. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and about 50 percent of people that suffer a hemorrhagic stroke die in a matter of days. Early treatment is important to not only save a person's life, but to also reduce permanent damage to the brain.
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Stroke has dropped from the fourth to the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While still too many people are dying from stroke, there has been much progress in overall treatment and a greater awareness among healthcare professionals, survivors, researchers and the public as to the vital importance of early intervention.
The decline in stroke deaths is due in part to improvements in treatment and early intervention. However, more people are having strokes in the U.S. partly because of the aging of the population and signs that strokes have increased in younger groups.
Stroke can be fatal. In fact, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Strokes result in death 17 percent of the time. So one-in-six strokes are fatal. The remaining five-in-six strokes are nonfatal but can cause permanent weakness, visual loss, language and other cognitive deficits, and other impairments.
Dr Steven Meyers, MD, Diagnostic Radiology, answered on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystemStroke is a very serious medical emergency that can be fatal. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States but prompt emergency treatment can reduce the risk of death and long term disability.
Dr. Rafael Alexander Ortiz, Neurosurgery, answered
Strokes can be of 2 types: ischemic (not enough blood supply to part of the brain due to an occluded artery) or hemorrhagic (due to breakage of a an artery of the brain most commonly due to hypertension, aneurysms, and AVMs). Not all strokes are fatal.
The symptoms caused by a stroke will depend mostly on the location within the brain and the size of the stroke. Strokes in the brainstem ("switchboard" in the back of the brain) are the most dangerous. Larger strokes cause more symptoms. In hemorrhagic strokes caused by an aneurysm rupture, the risk of death is high (up to 50 percent).
Patients have to be monitored for brain swelling after a stroke occurs since that is the potential cause of death. The recovery phase starts after the initial period of brain swelling caused by the stroke is over. Rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are important for an optimal recovery after a stroke.