Serving the Community Since 1956

Serving the Community Since 1956

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May - National Stroke Awareness Month

Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. Although stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability, a quick response when the stroke occurs can help minimize brain damage and shorten the recovery period.

Take the time to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke during May, which is National Stroke Awareness Month. A 2005 CDC survey found that only 38% of people could correctly identify all 5 symptoms of stroke and knew to call 9-1-1 if they thought that someone was having a stroke.
The key to recognizing a stroke is knowing the following signs and remembering that they occur suddenly:
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Photo: Cell phone with 911 on screen

What to Do? Act FAST

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act FAST and do the following simple test:
  • F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • T—Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Note the time when any symptoms first appear. Some treatments for stroke must be given within the first few hours after stroke. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.

resource: cdc.gov

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