Stroke & Organ Donor Information
Stroke is the number one cause of adult disability and the third leading cause of death in the US. Stroke affects people of all ages,
genders and races. Infants and young people still have a high risk of stroke. Controllable risk factors include obesity, smoking,
diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. By seeing a doctor regularly and following their instructions you
can control these risk factors.
Some Stroke Facts
Smoking triples your risk for having a stroke.
Migraine sufferers are 50% more likely to suffer a stroke than those who don't have them.
Up to 25% of strokes are from unknown origin.
225,000 of the 700,000 people who suffer a stroke are under 40.
Recreational drugs tear the artery walls which dramatically increases your risk for a stroke.
1 in 4 young adults have a minor heart defect called PFO that increases your risk for a stroke.
List of drugs and medications that increase your stroke risk:
1. Oral contraceptives
2. ADHD drugs such as Adderall and Ritilan
3. Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra
4. Hormone Replacement Therapy
8. OTC cold and cough medication containing PPA
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke; in some instances a clot busting drug called TPA can be administered to
diminish the effects of a stroke. However, there is only a three-hour window when this drug can be administered. If you suspect
someone is having a stroke, call 911 immediately! Time is brain function.
A Simple Test
Smile - is their smile symmetrical or is one side drooping
Raise both arms - can they hold both arms up or is one arm weaker
Repeat a sentence - like "The sky is blue." can they form the words
Stick out tongue - is it crooked or goes to one side - This is the new sign of stroke
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately! Note the time when you first started seeing symptoms.
This helps establish where a person may be within the three-hour treatment window.
There are other warning signs of stroke:
Suddenly feeling weak in one arm, hand or leg.
Cannot feel one side of your face or body.
Suddenly cannot see out of one eye.
Suddenly have a hard time walking.
Cannot understand what someone is saying.
Feeling dizzy or losing your balance.
Having the worst headache you have ever had.
Stroke is sometimes referred to as a brain attack because it impacts the brain in much the same way a heart attack impacts the heart.
Every stroke is different and is largely dependent upon the area of the brain affected and the length of time that area was without
There are two types of strokes. Transient Ischemic Attack, TIA, is when a blood clot clogs an artery for a short period of time. This is
sometimes called a warning stroke. The symptoms are much like a major stroke; however, they last for a shorter period of time. A
hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds deep in the brain or on the surface of the brain.
The need for donated organs, corneas and tissue continues to grow. Nearly 100,000 men, women, and children currently await
life-saving organ transplants. Sadly, an average of 18 people die each day due to the lack of available organs.
In the United States, it is illegal to buy or sell organs and tissue for transplantation.
Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.
All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity
If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue
donation can only be considered after you are deceased.
When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type,
and other important medical information, not your financial status or celebrity status.
An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated
with care, respect and dignity.
There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.
Signing a donor card and a driver's license with an "organ donor" designation may not satisfy your state's requirements to
become a donor. Be certain to take the necessary steps to be a donor and ensure that your family understands your wishes.
Although there have been advances in medical technology and donation, the demand for organ, eye and tissue donation still vastly
exceeds the number of donors. For more information, read the summary below or create a detailed data report on the UNOS Web site.
-Almost 100,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants.
-Every 12 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
-An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.
-In 2005, there were 7,593 deceased organ donors and 6,895 living organ donors resulting in 28,108 organ transplants.
-In 2005, 44,000 grafts were made available for transplant by eye banks within the United States.
-Approximately 1,000,000 tissue transplants are performed annually.
-According to research, 98% of all adults have heard about organ donation and 86% have heard of tissue donation.
-90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.