Stroke Danger Threatens MN Tribes


Mille Lacs Band Public Health
The Minnesota Department of Health is alerting tribal members and tribal medical providers that stroke is an important issue for Minnesota tribal communities.

Comparisons of Minnesota with other states show that for both heart disease and stroke, American Indians in Minnesota die at higher rates than the rest of the country.

The stroke death rates are 23% higher for American Indians than for whites in Minnesota. And American Indians also have persistently higher heart disease mortality rates than whites (39% for men and 34% for women).

If you think someone is having a stroke, ACT FAST!
– FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
– ARM: Ask the person to raise both arms, palms up. Does one arm drift downward?
– SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
– TIME: Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see these symptoms. People often choose to drive their loved ones to a medical center or urgent care provider for treatment of a possible stroke.

If you think someone had or is having a stroke, experts say it’s much better to call 9-1-1.

That way, treatment can get started before the person even leaves home.

Every second counts!
EMTs and paramedics can give the hospital a heads-up about what is happening and advise them they are bringing in a stroke victim. This gives the hospital time to prepare so they can treat the patient as soon as they arrive.

Stroke experts use the phrase, “time is brain,” meaning that the sooner treatment is started, the better. This is crucial for stroke patients.

It is important to determine the last time the person was feeling and behaving normally. It makes a difference as to what type of treatment is best.

Information provided by the Minnesota Department of Health Stroke Program or adapted from the Minnesota Department of Health website at