In 2008, after years of being the third-leading cause of death in the United States, stroke dropped to fourth. In part, this may reflect the results of a commitment made by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) more than a decade ago to reduce stroke, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular risk by 25% by the year 2010 (a goal met a year early in 2009). The reason for the success was multifactorial and included improved prevention and improved care within the first hours of acute stroke. To continue these encouraging trends, the public and healthcare professionals must remain vigilant and committed to improving overall stroke care
According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), strokes can be classified into two main categories: Ischemic Strokes (87%) and Hemorrhagic Strokes (13%). Broadly speaking, ischemic strokes occur as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes result from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain tissue.