Stroke Statistics

  • Stroke kills more than 137,000 people a year, and is the Number 4 cause of death.
  • On average, every 4 minutes someone dies of stroke.
  • About 40 percent of stroke deaths occur in males, and 60 percent in females.
  • 34 percent of people hospitalized for stroke are younger than 65.
  • Nearly half of Americans (49 percent) report to one or more of the top three risk factors for stroke: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
  • Nearly 1/4 of strokes are in people who have had previous strokes.
  • While the traditional window for stroke treatment is 3-4 hours after the onset of symptoms, the biplane endo/angio suite can expand that window by up to 12 hours.
  • Health First's Holmes Regional Medical Center has had excellent outcomes on our patients who underwent thrombectomy (removal of clot from the brain for stroke). In the past two years, we have been able to remove the clot out of more than 85% of the patients with no major complications of the procedure. More than 80% of the patients either went home or went to rehabilitation due to excellent outcomes. We have been able to transfer stroke patients from other hospitals in the county and beyond to provide good outcome without disability.

Interventional Expertise!

Health First Neurosciences has two doctors who are fellowship trained in diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology. They are also the only two doctors in Brevard and Indian River counties to provide minimally invasive endovascular surgery on brain aneurysm repair. Contact us today for more information.


Stroke Prevention

Understanding your risk factors is the first step in preventing stroke. While there are some risk factors you can't control, such as age and family history, there are others you can. Examples of stroke risk factors that can be changed or treated include:

High blood pressure—While high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, it is also the most important controllable risk factor. Ways to improve your blood pressure include:

  • Eating a healthier diet and reducing salt intake
  • Enjoying physical activity on a regular basis
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing or managing stress
  • Avoiding tobacco and secondhand smoke
  • Complying with medical prescriptions
  • Limiting alcohol consumption

Smoking—Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. Talk to your doctor about tools and resources to help you quit, including nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication, and ‘stop smoking' programs—and avoid second-hand smoke when able.

Carotid or other artery diseases—The carotid arteries in your neck supply most of the blood to your brain—and blood clots linked to damaged carotid arteries is the leading cause of stroke in Americans. Be sure to have regular medical checkups and follow the instructions provided by your doctor.

Heart disease— Heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm, and other cardiovascular diseases may cause the blood to pool or clot, increasing the risk of stroke. Be sure to follow a heart-healthy diet, stay active, and work with your doctor to manage your heart disease.

High cholesterol—People with high blood cholesterol have an increased risk of stroke. In addition to making lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, various medications can lower cholesterol levels. Be sure and talk to your doctor about the approach that's right for you.

Poor diet— Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels, putting you at an increased risk of stroke. Doctors recommend a low-sodium diet containing five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day to help keep your cholesterol levels healthy.

Physical inactivity or obesity—Excess weight puts added strain on the circulatory system, increasing your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors of stroke. Doctors recommend exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day to reduce your risk of stroke, as well as heart disease.

Stroke Warning Signs

When it comes to lessening your chances of dying or suffering lasting damage from a stroke, every second counts. For an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke, think F.A.S.T.—and immediately call 911 or seek emergency medical services if you or someone you know shows the following symptoms.

F. Face drooping

A. Arm weakness

S. Speech difficulty

T. Time to call 911

In addition to F.A.S.T., other signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Remember! If someone shows any of these symptoms, immediately call 911 or seek emergency medical services.

Interventional Expertise!

Health First Neurosciences has two doctors who are fellowship trained in diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology. They are also the only two doctors in Brevard and Indian River counties to provide minimally invasive endovascular surgery on brain aneurysm repair. Contact us today for more information.


What is a Stroke

A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops, depriving the brain of the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Also known as a "brain attack", a stroke can cause a large number of brain cells to die, which can result in lasting damage and death.

Types of Strokes

Ischemic stroke—Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. This type of stroke occurs as a result of a clot or obstruction within a blood vessel, cutting off the supply of blood to the brain. The underlying condition for this type of obstruction is the development of fatty deposits lining the vessel walls, or the technical term "atherosclerosis".

Hemorrhagic stroke—This type of stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain, compressing the surrounding brain tissue. The two types of weakened blood vessels that usually cause hemorrhagic stroke include aneurysms and arteriovenous malfunctions (AVMs).

Aneurysms—An aneurysm is the abnormal bulging of an artery cause by weakness in the vessel wall. As the aneurysm grows, it often results in symptoms such as severe headaches and nausea. And if left untreated, it can potentially rupture, resulting in a stroke.


National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

MS Views and News
A website and organization created to help add education information for the global MS community via the internet and via live seminars. You've entered a place where information and knowledge are exchanged for the benefit of ALL persons Affected By MS. This includes the MS Patient, the caregiver(s), friends and the medical providers.

Tips for Brain Health

Have your doctor check your ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which can help unlock the specific nutritional guidance you need to prevent against stroke, Alzheimer's, and other inflammatory diseases.

Refrain from smoking, which represents a major risk factor for cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Avoid alcohol and other mood-altering substances, which decrease our mental functioning and impair our cognitive processes in ways affecting everything from focus to memory.

Exercise regularly to help maintain efficient blood flow to your brain.

Follow a nutrient-rich diet and fill up on foods containing high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and flax seed. (Plus, have your doctor check your ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to find the amount of Omega-3 that's right for you.)

Choose foods high in Vitamin E and Vitamin C, which are a good source of brain-friendly antioxidants.

Have fun, socialize, and engage in mentally stimulating activities—all work to keep the brain strong, challenged, and healthy throughout your lifespan.

Videos & Other Resources

Get a more in-depth look at the tools and technologies that help make Health First Neurosciences one of the most cutting-edge neurological centers in the area.

More On The Biplane Endo/Angio Suite
How does this operating suite help save lives and prevent brain damage?
It allows patients to be treated after the window of safety for traditional stroke treatments, including intravenous tPA, has passed. And by providing real-time three-dimensional image guidance, it helps the interventional neurologist see exactly where the catheter-based clot retrieval device needs to go, and further ensures that no areas of blood clots are overlooked. It even eliminates the need to transfer patients to another room for scanning during the procedure

Click to view our Biplane Endo / Angio Suite Tour
Take An Inside Glimpse At This Life-Saving Technology

Tour or brief video of eICU
Health First VitalWatch is Central Florida's only "eICU" - electronic intensive care unit - that combines telemedicine, software, and 24/7 electronic monitoring technology.

VitalWatch provides Health First's critical care physicians and nurses the ability to monitor real-time vital signs, laboratory results, and complete electronic medical records of patients in the various intensive care units (ICU) at all four Health First hospitals from a central location.

This life-saving service is provided at no cost to the patient.