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Posts for tag: Stroke

May 19, 2016
Category: Informational
Tags: Stroke  

If you’re like most Americans, you don’t know the signs of stroke. Only 8 percent of those recently surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

• F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

• A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

• S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

• T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Additional stroke signs include: Sudden severe headache with no known cause (indicating a bleeding type stroke); sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; or sudden confusion or trouble understanding.

Acute stroke is something that we can now do something about if it happens often with miraculous results, (unlike what was being done 10 years ago).

If you think someone is having a stroke, immediately call 9-1-1 so an ambulance can be sent. Also, check the time so you'll know when the first stroke symptoms appeared (single most important fact that helps the doctors determine what treatments to give a patient).

A clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may improve the chances of getting better but only if you get help right away (within 4.5 hours). Nearly 800,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, someone experiences a stroke every 40 seconds. These strokes kill more than 130,000 people a year.

Although stroke can happen to anyone, studies show that up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by working with a healthcare professional to reduce personal risk. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting the proper amount of daily physical fitness, not smoking, and controlling your weight are just a few of several ways you can protect yourself.